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L '- ^'■' 


j \XA \ C' '- 'I \ 

flatbatti Sibinitp iMbool 







CluU«Jtcvi h-.S'o 

Deeper Experiences 



Gleaned from 
Their Biographies, Autobiographies and Writings 





Madam Guyon 
George Fox 
John Biinyan 
John Wesley 


Christmas Evans 
Lorenzo Dow 
Billy Bray 
Jacob Knapp 

George MuUer 
A. B. Earle 
Miss Havergal 
A J. Gordon 
D. L. Moody 
General Booth 
and Others 

Anderson, Indiana 

Theou i-AL library 


International Copyright^ 1911 


67-, 3 

d. U: ^i-i^ 

( ii^>JL.i V ' '■ \ ' \ 



Introduction 7 

Old Testament Characters 1$ 

New Testament Characters 2^ 

Other Early Saints and Sages 49 

Girolamo Savonarola 73 

Madam Guyon 87 

Fenelon 107 

George Fox 121 

John Bunyan 137 

John Wesley 155 

^ G^rge Whitefield % . . 173 

*^:j John Fletcher 187 

^'^ Christmas Evans 203 

^^^^^J^renzo Dow 215 

^Peter Cartwright, 229 

4^ Charles G. Finney 243 

"^ Billy Bray 259 

Elder Jacob Knapp 273 

George MuUer » 285 

p A. B. Earle .301 

V Frances Ridley Havergal 313 

"f A. J. Gordon 329 

• ^ D. L. Moody,..*.. 339 

^ General Booth 353 

rY Other Famous Christians 369 


The great object of this book is to describe, in their 
own words so far as possible, the deepest spiritual experi- 
ences of the most famous Christians of all ages and climes. 
The author has spent much of his time for years in the 
greatest libraries of Europe and America, searching the 
whole range of Christian literature to glean from it the 
most spiritual and helpful Christian experiences. He be- 
lieves that this book contains the very cream of the Chris- 
tian literature of all ages, and trusts that it will be the 
means of leading many into "the fulness of the blessing 
of the gospel of Christ" (Romans 15:29). 

Although these pages contain an account of the most 
important facts in the lives of the most famous Spirit- 
filled children of God, it would be impossible, in a book 
of this kind, to describe the deeper experiences of all the 
famous Spirit-filled Christians. In the early Christian 
church, and in almost every denomination of Christians, 
there have been many whose consecrated lives and spiritual 
experiences have made them a blessing to multitudes. The 
deeper experiences of famous living Christians would fill 
another volume of this kind. Much more might be said 
concerning the deeper Christian experiences of the saints 
of the early Christian church than has been said in these 
pages. Volumes might be written concerning the famous 
and pious mystics of the middle ages, such as Erigena, 
Abelard, St. Bernard, Hildegarde, Bonaventura, Tauler, 
Eckhart, St. Brigitta, Catherine of Siena, Gerson, St. Ther- 
esa, Amdt, St. Frances de Sales, Jacob Bohme, Gerhard, 



Molinos, and hosts of others. The Beghards of the Neth- 
erlands, the Alombrados, or lUuminati, of Spain, the Quiet- 
ists and Pietists of Europe and Russia in Asia, and the 
persecuted Jansenists and Port Royalists of France, had 
many members eminent for their piety and spiritual power 
whose experiences are omitted in this volume. Among the 
most eminent of the Port Royalists were Amauld, Pascal, 
Nicole, Tillemont, and Racine. In modem times, since the 
Protestant Reformation, there have been hosts of famous 
Spirit-filled Christians whose experiences could not well be 
included in this book. Among these may be mentioned 
Robert Barclay, Susannah Wesley, Charles Wesley, Hester 
Ann Rogers, Elizabeth Fry, Howell Harris, Upham, Bishop 
Francis Asbury, James Caughey, Mrs. Catherine Booth, 
Kimball, Alfred Cookman, Inskip, Major Whittle, and many 
others, including most of the great evangelists, mission- 
aries, and h3rmn-writers. But, from the great multitude 
available, the author has selected and described the expe- 
riences of those who were spiritual stars of the first mag- 
nitude, and who were pre-eminent for their piety and spir- 
itual power. 

Although the deeper spiritual experiences of Christians 
of many different ages, climes, and denominations are given 
in this book, it will be found that there is a wonderful 
harmony in the experiences related. The persons described, 
whether Bible characters or others, relate their deeper ex- 
periences in very different terms ; but the deeper Christian 
experience described is always the same. It is the baptism, 
or filling, or gift, of the Holy Spirit, and the experience 
resulting from being " filled with the Spirit." The Meth- 
odist may describe this deeper Christian experience as '' en- 
tire sanctification," "holiness," or "perfect love." The 
Baptist may call it the "baptism of the Holy Spirit," or 

tfie " filling of the Spirit." The Presbyterian may call it 



the " life of faith/' or the " rest of faith," or the '' full 
assurance of faith." The G)ngregationalist may call it 
*' entire consecration." The Quaker may call it *' living in 
the Spirit," or " walking in the Spirit," or " over-coming 
power." The old Roman Catholic and Greek Church writ- 
ers may term it " death to the self-life," or " pure love." 
All these are Scriptural terms, or ideas, and all refer to a 
Spirit-filled Christian experience ; just as Hannah Whithall 
Smith, in her " Christian Secret of a Happy Life," and 
William Arthur, in his "Tongue of Fire," describe one 
and the same experience, although one views the experi- 
ence from the human side and the other from the Divine ; 
one showing man's privilege and the other God's power. 
Again, the Calvinist may describe his deeper Christian ex- 
perience in terms which accord with his theological views, 
while the Arminian uses terms which accord with his theo- 
logical views ; just as a person looking at the Niagara Falls 
from the Canadian side would describe them in very dif- 
ferent terms from a person looking at them from the 
American side, although the falls would remain the same. 
Theories differ according to the different standpoints or 
ways of looking at things. So long as men have different 
degrees of light they are bound to differ in theory. " Now 
we see through a glass, darkly," says the Apostle, " but then 
shall I know even as also I am known" (i Cor. 13: 12). 
That all men should agree in theory with regard to the 
deeper things of God's Word is hardly to be expected when 
they differ so much in theory with regard to the " first prin- 
ciples," and so long as they hold different theories with 
regard to politics and every other question. But as there 
is a practical agreement among evangelical Christians with 
regard to the way of salvation, so there is a practical agree- 
ment among those who believe in a deeper Christian expe- 
rience than conversion. All agree that Christians may be 



^ filled with the Spirit " (Ephesians 5 : i8) ; ftat we may 
** have life and have it more abundantly " (John lo : lo) ; 
that we may be " rooted and grounded in love " (Ephesians 
3:17); that we can be "more than conquerors, through 
him that loved us" (Romans 8: 37) ; that if we bring all 
the tithes into His storehouse, the Lord will open us the 
windows of heaven, and pour us out a blessing, that ther^ 
shall not be room enough to receive it (Malachi 3: 10) ; 
that we may have " peace as a river," and " righteousness 
as the waves of the sea" (Isaiah 48:18); that we may 
have "joy unspeakable and full of glory" (i Peter 1:8); 
and so on. In a court of law the testimony of witnesses 
would be rejected if they all gave the same evidence, and 
gave it in the same words and manner. It would prove 
that there had been collusion among the witnesses. But if 
each witness gave his evidence in his own words and man- 
ner, and yet the testimony of the witnesses agreed as to 
the essential facts, the evidence would be regarded as of 
the most convincing character. So when Christians of so 
many different centuries and countries relate their deeper 
Christian experiences in their own manner and language, 
and yet all agree as to the essential facts, it is overwhelm- 
ing evidence in favor of the fact that such a deep Christian 
experience may really be attained. 

There are several different theories with regard to the 
work accomplished by the baptism, or filling, of the Holy 
Spirit. Many hold the Wesleyan theory that when a per- 
son is filled with the Spirit, "inbred," or "original," sin 
is rooted out, or destroyed. Others believe that " inbred," 
or " original," sin remains in the person who is filled with 
the Spirit ; but that it is kept under, or suppressed, by the 
indwelling Holy Spirit. Others believe with Finney, the 
great Spirit-filled theologiein and prince of evangelists, that 
there is no such thing as. ** inbred sin," or " original sin," 



but that all temptations come through the natural desires, 
and that sin consists of following the desires of the flesh 
instead of following the Spirit. They believe that the 
Spirit-filled person has greater power than others to crucify, 
or keep under, the natural desires, so as not to be led astray 
By them. 

There are also differences of theory with regard to 
whether or not Spirit-filled Christians live in sin, and as 
to whether or not they are perfect and holy. The differ- 
ence of opinion as to whether or not a Christian can live 
without sin is generally caused by the different views men 
have of what sin is. It is only Christians who regard 
faults, mistakes, temptations, lack of knowledge, and so on, 
as sin, who believe that the Christian cannot live without 
sin. Most people agree that God's children can and do 
live without committing presumptuous sins. So there is far 
more agreement with regard to the question of living with- 
out sin than is generally supposed. In like manner, it is 
the diflFerent views that people hold with regard to what 
perfection is, and what holiness is, which cause them to 
differ as to whether or not a Christian can be perfect or 
holy ; although the corruption of their own hearts may often 
lead them to oppose the doctrine of holiness or Christian 
perfection, and in some cases to be more afraid of holiness 
than of hell. Those who believe that God does not require 
or expect divine or angelic perfection in human beings, but 
that He only requires us to be perfect as human beings, 
are of the opinion that we can be perfect, or holy, in this 
life. They believe that all the moral law can or does re- 
quire is that we should love God with all our heart, mind, 
strength, and soul, and not with the strength or intelligence 
of angels ; and they believe that if the Christian loves God 
and his neighbor in that way, he is perfect, or holy, in the 

sight of God. They think that as th^ teacher regards the 



little child in the first grade at school as perfect if it does 
what is required of pupils in the first standard, so God 
regards us as perfect if we do what could reasonably be 
expected of us as human beings. On the other hand, many 
people regard the moral law as a fixed standard requiring 
in human beings all that is found in God and in angels. 
It is no wonder that those who hold that view of the re- 
quirements of the moral law are opposed to the doctrine 
of holiness, or Christian perfection. No one could be holy 
or perfect if the moral law required divine or angelic per- 
fection in human beings. No reasonable person claims to 
be without faults and temptations. 

Again, there is a difference of opinion as to whether or 
not the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within people when 
they are converted, justified, or forgiven. Some believe 
that the Holy Spirit dwells within every child of God, but 
that He comes in greater measure to those who are " filled 
with the Spirit." Others believe that to talk about getting 
" more and more of the Spirit " is not only using unscrip- 
tural language, but that it is treating the Holy Spirit as 
an influence instead of as a person. They believe that the 
Holy Spirit is only with the justified, forgiven, or regen- 
erated person, but that He dwells within those who are 
" filled with the Spirit." In proof of this they cite Christ's 
promise, " He dwdleth with you, and shall be in you " 
(John 14: 17), and such passages as Acts 8: 16, and 19: 2, 
where believers are described as not having received the 
Holy Ghost. However theories may differ, it is certain 
that in the early Christian church it was customary to lay 
hands on believers, and to pray for them that they might 
receive " the gift of the Holy Ghost," although the gift of 
the Spirit was sometimes given without the laying on of 
hands. This early Christian custom is mentioned in He- 
brews 6 : 2 as one of the ** first principles " of Christianity, 


and it is frequently referred to by the early Christiar. 
writers. A relic of the custom has been handed down from 
apostolic times in Greek and other Eastern churches, and 
in the Roman Catholic Church in the West, in the ceremony 
known as Confirmation, which is also observed in the 
Church of England, the Lutheran, and some other Protes- 
tant churches. Although the rite of Confirmation may now 
be a mere form in the majority of cases, it is unquestion- 
ably a relic of the early Christian custom of imposing hands 
and praying that converts might receive the gift of the 
Holy Ghost. Calvin, Dr. John Owen, and other great com- 
mentators acknowledge this fact in their commentaries on 
Hebrews 6:2. Chrysostom and other early commentators 
support this fact. 

In the preparation of this book the author is greatly 
indebted for information, and often for the manner of ex- 
pressing it, to writers too numerous to mention. He is 
especially indebted to the biographers of the famous Chris- 
tians whose experiences are described. The condensed 
nature of the book has made it impossible for him to ac- 
knowledge all the sources of his information, and he has 
not attempted to do so. 

That this account of how God has done for others ex- 
ceeding abundantly above all that they asked or thought 
(Ephesians 3:20) may be the means of leading others to 
** hunger and thirst after righteousness,'' so that they may 
be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, 
and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love 
of Christ which passeth (human) knowledge, that they may 
be filled with all the fulness of God (Ephesians 3: 18, 19), 
is the prayer of 

The Author. 


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A careful study of the Old Testament will reveal the 
feet that in Old Testament times, as in New Testament 
times, those who accomplished great things for God were 
first anointed by the Holy Spirit, and endowed with power 
from on high. No great work has ever been accomplished 
except through the power of the Holy Spirit, who is the 
great Executive of God, carrying out tfie will of God in all 
things. From the first chapter of Genesis we learn that 
" the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters," and 
that He created all things in obedience to God's commands. 
The Holy Spirit is the source of all life, both spiritual and 
temporal. " It is the Spirit that quickeneth," or giveth life 
(John 6: 63), so that in God " we live, and move, and have 
our being" (Acts 17:28). Scientists have sought in vain 
to discover the secret of life, not knowing that the Holy 
Spirit is the great source of all life. But the patriarch Job 
knew that it was through the power of the Spirit that God 
created all things, when he said, " By his Spirit he hath 
garnished the heavens" (Job 26:13). Elihu also under- 
stood it when he said, " The Spirit of God hath made me, 
and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life " (Job 

33 ••4). 

Not only did the Holy Spirit bring all things into being 

at God's command, but He gave the tabernacle builders 

the wisdom to perform their work (Exodus 28 : 3 ; 31 : 2, 3 ; 

and 35:30, 31), and he qualified all the great patriarchs. 



prophets, judges, and kings for the work God had for 
them to do. 


That it was the power of the Holy Spirit which made 
the Old Testament patriarchs such princes with God and 
men is very evident. Enoch must have been filled with the 
Spirit of God, because he ''walked with God " (Genesis 5: 
22, 24), and prophesied (Jude 14), and was translated 
(Hebrews 11:5); and we know that it is the work of the 
Holy Spirit to give grace, to reveal things, and to trans- 
late people to heaven (see i Corinthians 15, and so on). 
Noah must also have been endued with the Holy Spirit's 
power, because he also " walked with God " (Genesis 6:9); 
he talked with God (Genesis 6: 13; Hebrews 11:7) ; and 
it seems that the Spirit of God spoke through him to those 
who lived during the flood, and that they are now im- 
prisoned in hell because they refused to hear him (i Peter 
3: 18-20). Abraham also must have been filled with the 
Holy Spirit, as he had many visions and special revelations 
from the Lord (Genesis 15: i ; Acts 7:2; Hebrews 11 :8). 
Other Old Testament patriarchs were doubtless endued with 
the Holy Spirit's power in a similar manner ; but the deeper 
experiences of Jacob and Joseph are more fully described 
in the Word of God than those of the other patriarchs. 


In the Bible account of Jacob's life, as perhaps in that 
of no other Old Testament saint, we have revealed the 
power of God to change and transform character. Before 
God met Jacob at BeAel there was little to love and ad- 
mire in his weak, vacillating character. His name, Jacob, 
means supplanter, or deceiver, and such was his character. 
By deception be obtained his brother Esau's birthright, and 


he flien started away to a strange land to escape his broth- 
er's wrath. But God, who foreknows all tilings, knew 
that Jacob rather than Esau was prepared to abandon the 
life of selfishness and sin, and to become a chosen vessel 
in His service (Romans 9:11). One night as he lay asleep 
on the lonely mountains north of Jerusalem, then called 
Jebus, with the stones for his pillow, the Lord began to 
reveal Himself to him. In a dream the Holy Spirit re- 
vealed to him a little of the glories of heaven. He saw a 
ladder reaching toward heaven, and the angels of God as- 
cending and descending on it ; and the Lord promised him 
great blessings (Genesis 28). His experience is described 
in the well known words, 

** Though like a wanderer, the sun gone down, 
Darkness be over me, my rest a stone, 
Yet in my dreams I would be. 
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee." 

Jacob called the name of the place Bethel, which means 
house of God, and said, *'Tbis is none other than the house 
of God, and this is the gate of heaven" (Genesis 28: 17): 
But it was only the "gate," or beginning, of Jacob's spirit- 
ual experience. It was not at Bethel, but at Peniel, that 
his life was completely transformed. After he had served 
Laban many years, and Laban became envious of him, 
Jacob started for his old home. Laban pursued him with 
an army, and he also heard that his brother Esau was com- 
ing witfi another army to meet him. Hemmed in between 
the two armies, he seemed to be completely at their mercy, 
and was at the end of his own resources. But " Man's 
extremity is God's opportunity," and the darkest hour is 
often before day. " Weeping may endure for a night, but 
joy cometh in the morning" (Psalm 30:5). "They that 
wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall 


moont up wifh wings as eagles ; they shall run, and not be 
weary ; and they shall walk, and not faint " (Isaiah 40: 31). 
Such was the case with Jacob. He knew that God only 
cculd deliver him from the extremity in which he had 
placed himself by his evil deeds. So he spent the night 
alone with God, crying for deliverance. Doubtless it was 
1ft night of bitter repentance and tears. He wrestled with 
the angel of the Lord until the breaking of the day, and 
said to him, '' I will not let thee go, except thou bless me *' 
(Genesis 32:26). Having touched his thigh and made him 
a cripple, to punish him for his sins and to keep him hum- 
ble before God, the angel pronounced upon him one of the 
greatest blessings that man has ever experienced. He said, 
'' Thy name shaU be called no more Jacob, but Israel : for 
as a prince thou hast power with God and with men, and 
hast prevailed." Israel means prince of God, and from that 
night at Peniel until his dying day, Jacob was truly a spir- 
itual prince, and had power with God and with men. In 
one night God transformed him from a weak, vacillating 
deceiver, into a prince with God and men ; from Jacob (de- 
ceiver) to Israel (prince of God) ; and from a refugee to 
a ruler. This wonderful change was wrought in answer 
to prayer, and because Jacob said, ^ 1 will not let thee go, 
except thou bless me." 


Another Old Testament saint whose deeper religious 
experiences have been a help to many was the patriarch 
Joseph. In his youth God revealed to Joseph, through 
dreams and visions, that He would greatly bless him (Gene- 
sis 37). But the blessings of God did not come to Joseph 
until he was prepared by suffering to receive them. Human 
nature is such that we cannot bear great blessings or pros- 
perity without some ''thorn in the flesh," or humiliating 


experiences, to keep us from being " exalted atx>ve meas- 
ure/' Paul had to be kept humble through some " thorn 
in the flesh/' lest he "should be exalted above measure 
through the abundance of the revelations " (2 Corinthians 
12 : 7). " The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for 
gold " (Proverbs 17 : 3 ; and 27 : 21). Silver can be melted 
and refined in a pot, but the gold must be put right into 
the fire before it can be melted and refined. Those who 
are only to be silver vessels in the house of God may only 
have to go through the melting pot of affliction to be re- 
fined; but those who are to be golden vessels in the house 
of God often have to go through the furnace fire of afflic- 
tion, as did Job, Madam Guyon, and many others. Joseph 
was to be a golden vessel for the Master's use, and he had 
to be greatly humbled before he could bear the great hon- 
ors and blessings that God was about to shower upon him. 
He was betrayed by his brethren, sold as a bond-slave, 
carried away into the strange land of Egypt, falsely ac- 
cused of an horrible crime, and finally thrown into an 
Egyptian dungeon. Thus he lost friends, and property, and 
reputation, and liberty, and everything that is held dearest 
in this life. This did not look like the prosperity and 
blessing that God had promised him, but his faith in God 
never wavered. Like the patriarch Job, in the midst of his 
trials, he could say, " Though he slay me, yet will I trust 
in him" (Job 13:15). Although Joseph lost everything 
except his faith in God, he did not doubt God nor forsake 
riim, as most men would have done under similar circum- 
stances. After the Lord had sufficiently humbled him, so 
that he could bear the honor, blessings and honor began 
to pour in upon him. He was delivered from prison, 
placed on the throne of Egypt as the virtual ruler, had his 
friends and relatives restored to him, and above all this 
God gave him such wisdom and understanding that even 


Pharaoh marvelled at it. -'And Pharaoh said unto his serv- 
ants. Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom 
the Spirit of God is ? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, For- 
asmuch as God hath showed thee all this, there is none so 
discreet and wise as thou art" (Genesis 41 138, 39). 


In the life of Moses, the first and greatest of Israel's 
judges, the Holy Spirit's power was manifest in a pre- 
eminent degree. Over five hundred times in the Word of 
God we are told about God speaking to Moses or Moses 
speaking to God. When the Lord first called Moses to 
lead the children of Israel from Egypt to Canaan, he went 
in his own strength to deliver Israel, and killed two Egyp- 
tians. Then he got frightened, and fled into the wilderness, 
and spent forty years feeding sheep for his father-in-law. 
By that time all his pride and self-reliance had left him. 
When God again called him to go and deliver Israel from 
Egypt, he felt his own weakness as he had not when the 
Lord first called him to that mission. '' Now the man 
Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon 
the face of the earth " (Numbers 12: 3). He pleaded that 
he was " slow of speech," and was not qualified to lead 
Israel. But God, Who chooses and uses humble instru- 
ments, said, " I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee 
what thou shalt say" (Exodus 4: 12). Moses still pleaded 
that the Lord would send some one else, and then the Lord 
gave him Aaron as his s^kesman. After this the Spirit 
of God worked through Moses and Aaron in a marvellous 
manner. At the sway of Moses' rod the plagues of blood, 
frogs, lice, flies, murrain, boils and blains, locusts, and 
darkness were sent over the land of Egypt, the Red Sea 
was divided, water was brought from the smitten rock, 
and so on. Under the inspiration of the Spirit of God, 


Moses also wrote more of the Bible than any other person, 
the five books of Moses being larger than the fourteen let- 
ters of Paul. When he came down from the mount, after 
communing with God, his countenance was so resplendent 
with the glory of God that he had to veil his face while 
talking with the people (Exodus 34:33). 

When Israel increased to a great nation, and the bur- 
den of judging the people was too great for Moses, seventy 
elders were selected to assist him in judging the people. 
The Spirit of God fell upon these seventy elders, and they 
began to prophesy. Joshua was afraid that they would 
take the leadership away from Moses, and asked Moses to 
rebuke Eldad and Medad, two of the seventy, who were 
prophesying in the camp. Moses said to him, " Enviest 
thou for my sake? Would God that all the Lord's people 
were prophets, and that the Lord would put his Spirit upon 
them!" (Numbers 12:29). 

When God was about to call away Moses, he prayed 
that the Lord would raise up some one to take his place. 
''And the Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son 
of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand 
upon him" (Numbers 27:18). After Moses had prayed 
for him, Joshua was given gp-eat power and wisdom by the 
Spirit of God. He conquered seven nations and thirty-one 
kings in the land of Canaan, and took possession of the 


Not only Moses and Joshua, but all the other grezt 
judges of Israel, were qualified by the Holy Spirit's power 
for the work to which God had called them. They were 
farmers and others from among the people, and were raised 
up and anointed by the Holy Spirit to become judges over 
Israel. Again and again Israel were delivered into the 


hands of their enemies because of their sins, and when they 
repented Grod always raised up a great judge to deliver 
them from their enemies and to rule over them. We are 
expressly told concerning many of these judges that the 
Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and prepared them 
for the work God had for them to do. Thus, in Judges 3 : 
9, 10, we read concerning Othniel, "And when the children 
of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised up a de- 
liverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even 
Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother. And 
the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged 
Israel," and so on. Likewise we read, " The Spirit of the 
Lord came upon Gideon" (Judges 6:34), after which he 
had power, with a little band of three hundred men, to put 
to flight the great army of the Midianites who were " like 
grasshoppers for multitude." Again, we read how "the 
Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah" (Judges 11:29), 
a man of humble birth, and of how mightily God used him 
to deliver Israel from the Ammonites. From the book of 
Judges we also learn that the strength of Samson was the 
strength of the Lord, and that when he grieved away the 
Spirit of God he was weak like other men. "And the 
Spirit of the Lord began to move him at times in the camp 
of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol " (Judges 13:25), and 
he began to perform deeds of valor. One day he met a 
lion, "And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, 
and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had 
nothing in his hand " (Judges 14:6). The " Spirit of the 
Lord came upon him," and he went to Ashkelon and slew 
thirty of the wicked Philistines (Judges 14:19). "And 
when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against 
him : and the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, 
and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that 
was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his 


hands. And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put 
forth his hand and took it, and slew a thousand therewith " 
(Judges 15 : 14, 15) • When the Spirit of the Lord left him 
his power was gone (Judges 16: 20) ; but when he prayed 
the power returned to him again (Judges 16:28). The 
last and one of the greatest of the judges of Israel was 
Samuel. As a child he grew, "and was in favour both 
with the Lord, and also with men '" ( i Samuel 2 : 26). The 
Lord spoke to him, and revealed many things to him by 
the Holy Spirit "And all Israel, from Dan even to Beer- 
sheba, knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet 
of the Lord" (i Samuel 3:20, 21). 


As the great patriarchs and judges were filled with the 
Spirit, so were the greatest and best kings of Israel and 
Judah. All the good kings of Israel were anointed for 
their office by the Spirit of God, and were thus qualified to 
rule over the people. The anointing oil poured upon them 
at their coronation s)rmbolized the Holy Spirit's anointing, 
just as did the anointing oil poured upon the high priest at 
his consecration. Everywhere in the Scriptures oil is used 
as a symbol of the Holy Spirit and His anointing. The 
prophet Samuel told Saul, who was the first king of Israel, 
that the Spirit of the Lord would come upon him, and that 
he would be turned into another man (i Samuel 10:6). 
When the Spirit of God came upon Saul and he began ta 
prophesy, the people were astonished and said, " Is Saul 
also among the prophets?" (i Samuel 10:11). But some 
one who knew that the same God who had made. the others 
prophets had also made Saul a prophet, said, " But who is 
their father?' "The Spirit of God came upon Saul" (i 
Samuel 11 : 6), and he prospered until he sinned by sparing 
*Agag; and then "the Spirit of the Lord departed from 


Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him" (i 
Samuel 16:14). 

When the prophet Samuel poured the anointing oil on 
David, the next great king of Israel, ''the Spirit of the 
Lord came on David from that day forward '' ( i Samuel 
16: 13). Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit David 
wrote the noblest songs that ever were sung, and he fore- 
told the coming of Christ both in humiliation and glory. 
The shepherd boy on Judea's hills was made one of the 
world's greatest poets, prophets, and kings. "The Spirit 
of the Lord spake by m^, and his word was in my tongue* 
(2 Samuel 23:2), says David; and the apostle Peter said 
that the Holy Ghost spake by David (Acts i : 16). After 
David sinned, he feared that he had sinned against the 
Holy Ghost, and he prayed, ""Cast me not away from thy 
presence ; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore 
unto me the joy of thy salvation ; and uphold me with thy 
free Spirit : Then will I teach transgressors thy ways ; and 
sinners shall be converted unto thee" (Psalm 51:11-13). 

When Solomon, the third king over Israel, was a youth, 
he chose wisdom from God, rather than long life, riches, 
or honor; and because he made this choice God gave him 
a wise and understanding heart, so that no one else was 
so wise as Solomon (i Kings 3). His fame went out ovei 
all the earth; and when the Queen of Sheba came to see 
him and hear him for herself, "there was no more spirit 
in her" (i Kings 10:5). She said, "the half was not 
told me" (verse 7). The wisdom of this world paled into 
nothingness before the marvelous wisdom which the Spirit 
of God imparted to king Solomon. Wisdom and knowl- 
edge are still the gifts of God's Spirit (i Corinthians 12: 8; 
James 3 : 17), and God can give us wise and understanding 
hearts (James 1:5). The wisdom of Solomon, the wisest 


man, like the strength of Samson, the strongest man, was a 
direct gift of the Holy Spirit. 


As the Holy Spirit anointed and qualified the great 
judges and kings of Israel, so He anointed and qualified 
the Old Testament prophets. Without the anointing of the 
Holy Spirit they would have been only ordinary men. 
Isaiah was only '' a man of unclean lips/' unable to speak 
with divine power, until God touched his lips with the fire 
of His Holy Spirit (Isaiah 6) ; and then he became the 
world's greatest and most sublime prophet. Jeremiah felt 
that he was but a child, and could not be a prophet (Jere- 
miah I ) ; but God so anointed him with the Holy Spirit's 
power that he became '' a defenced city, and an iron pillar, 
and brasen walls" (verse 18) against sin, "to root out, 
and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down " the 
evil, and "to build, and to plant" the good (verse 10). 
He became the greatest prophet of woe and denunciation 
against sin that the world has ever had. The Lord said to 
him, " I will make my words in thy mouth fire " (Jeremiah 
5: 14), and they were like a fire, and like a hammer that 
breaketh the rock in pieces (Jeremiah 23:29). Over and 
over again we read about the Spirit of the Lord being upon 
Ezekiel, and inspiring him with heavenly visions and reve- 
lations (Ezekiel 1:1, 3; 2:2; 3:12, 14, 22, 24; 8:1, 3; 
II : I, 5, 24; 33: 22; 37: 1 ; 40: 1 ; 43- 5)- The great prophet 
Elijah was so anointed with the Spirit of God that Elisha 
longed for a double portion of his spirit (2 Kings 2:9), and 
" the spirit and power of Elijah " became proverbial (Luke 
i: 17). When the mantle of Elijah fell upon Elisha, the 
Spirit of God anointed Elisha to become a great prophet (2 
Kings 2), and the sons of the prophets said, " The spirit of 


Elijah doth rest on Elisha " (verse 15). Daniel was only a 
Hebrew captive in a heathen land, but the Spirit of God 
gave him greater wisdom than all the wise men of the great 
Babylonish empire (Daniel 1:17; 4:8, g, 18; 5:11-14; 
6:3) ; and like Joseph he was made the real ruler of a 
world-empire. The Holy Spirit revealed to him the rise 
and fall of all the empires of the world (Daniel 2 and 7). 
As the Holy Spirit anointed and qualified the major pro- 
phets, so He also anointed the minor prophets. Balaam was 
enlightened by Him (Numbers 24:2) ; so also were Saul's 
messengers (i Samuel 19:20-23); and Micaiah (i Kings 
22:24; 2 Chronicles 18:23); and Amasai (i Chronicles 
12:18); and Azariah (2 Chronicles 15:1); and Jahaziel 
(2 Chronicles 20: 14) ; and Zechariah die son of Jehoiada 
(2 Chronicles 24:20) ; and Elihu (Job 32:8, 18, 19) ; and 
Micah (Micah 3:8); and all the others. The Spirit of the 
Lord was in all the true prophets (Nehemiah 9: 30; i Pe- 
ter 1 : 10, 11) : " For the prophecy came not in old time by 
the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were 
tnoved by the Holy Ghost " (2 Peter i : 21). 


Not only was the Holy Spirit the source of all spiritual 
power in Old Testament times ; but He imparted power to 
John the Baptist, to the Son of God Himself, to the Gali- 
lean fishermen, and to all the great saints of New Testa- 
ment times. By His death on the cross, Christ opened 
the way for God to pour His Spirit upon all flesh, which 
He did on the day of Pentecost, ushering in the more glori- 
ous dispensation foretold by Joel and other Old Testa- 
ment prophets. Since the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit 
has been convincing the whole world of sin, of righteous- 
ness, and of judgment in a way that He did not do, ex- 
cept with a few individuals, in Old Testament times; and 
thus, in this dispensation of the Holy Spirit, the world 
has become more responsible to God because of its increased 
light and privileges. 


John the Baptist, the great forerunner, or herald, of the 
coming of Jesus, was specially anointed for His mission 
by the Holy Spirit. The angel, in announcing His birth, 
said, ** For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and 
shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall 
be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's 
womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn 
to the Lord their God And he shall go before him in the 
spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers 



to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of fhe 
just ; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord " (Luke 
1:15-17). When he had grown to manhood, John the 
Baptist preached in the wilderness, proclaiming the com- 
ing of the Christ and commanding the people to repent. 
The multitudes were strangely affected by the preaching 
of this great prophet. " Then went out to him Jerusalem, 
and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan. And 
were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins " 
(Matt. 3:5, 6). Even the proud Pharisees, the material- 
istic Sadducees, the despised publicans, and the hardened 
soldiers went to him for counsel and advice. And what 
was the secret of the wonderful power of this lonely 
preacher in the wilderness, which enabled him to thus 
sway the multitudes? Jesus said to the people, "What 
went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken 
with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man 
clothed in soft raiment? Behold they that wear soft cloth- 
ing are in kings' houses. But what went ye out for to 
see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a 
prophet " (Matt, 11 : 7-9). John the Baptist was no " reed 
shaken with the wind," swayed by every breeze of public 
opinion, pandering to the people in order to please them. 
That was not what drew the multitudes to hear him. He 
denounced their sins, and rebuked them to their faces 
(Luke 3). Neither did they flock out into the wilderness 
to see his fine clothing, for he wore only a garment of 
camel's hair gfirt about him with a leather prdle. Neither 
did they flock to him to get something good to eat, for 
he lived on locusts and wild honey. But John the Baptist 
was the "voice" of God speaking to the people, through 
the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and that was the secret 
of his wonderful power. 


John the Baptist summed up the whole gospel in two 
brief sentences: " Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh 
away the sin of the world " (John i : 29), and, " He shall 
baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire" (Luke 3: 
16). One is the gospel of pardon for the sinner, and the 
other is the gospel of power for the believer. The gospel 
of pardon is also simmied up in John 3 : 16, " God so loved 
the world," and so on. Too many lay great stress on the 
gospel of pardon while neglecting the gospel of power. 
Let us remember Luke 3 : 16 and i Corinthians 3 : 16, as 
well as John 3 : 16. 


Even the Son of God Himself was anointed for service 
by the Holy Spirit, who descended upon Him in the form 
of a dove after His baptism. The name Christ itself is 
from the Greek word for oil, chrism, and means The 
Anointed One. All through the Scriptures oil is used as 
a symbol of the Holy Spirit, and the Psalmist refers to 
this fact when he says concerning Christ, "Thou lovest 
righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy 
God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy 
fellows " (Psa. 45 : 7, and Hebrews 1:9). The Holy Spirit 
was the " oil of gladness " with which Jesus was anointed. 
In the synagogue at Nazareth, Christ applied to Himself 
the prophecy in Isaiah 61 : i, 2, " The Spirit of the Lord 
God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to 
preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to 
bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the cap- 
tives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound ; 
to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord" (Luke 4: 
17-21). The apostle Peter also referred to this Scripture 
when he spoke of " How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth 
with the Holy Ghost and with power; who went about 


doing good, and healing all that were oppressed with the 
devil: for God was with him" (Acts 10:38), Jesus was 
doubtless a better medium than any human being for the 
Holy Spirit to work through, and no doubt that was why 
the Holy Spirit wrought greater miracles through Him 
and was more manifest in His life than in the life of any 
human being. He "spake as never man spake," all the 
sick who touched but the hem of His garment were made 
perfectly whole, with a few loaves and fishes He fed the 
hungry multitudes, and even the unbelievers of Nazareth 
" wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of 
his mouth." Christ Himself said that all these miracles 
were wrought by the " finger," " hand," or " Spirit," of 
God (Luke 11:20, Matt. 12:28, and so on). Referring 
to the marvelous manner in which the Spirit of God 
wrought through Christ's ministry. Principal Gore, in Lux 
Mundi, Section VHI., says, " The Spirit anoints Him ; the 
Spirit drives Him into the wilderness ; the Spirit gives Him 
the law of His mission; in the power of the Spirit He 
works His miracles ; in the Spirit He lifts up the voice of 
human thankfulness to the Divine Father ; in the Spirit He 
offers Himself without spot to God; in the power of the 
Spirit He was raised from the dead." 

Christ is our great example and pattern, and His life 
was truly a Spirit-filled one. If the Son of God Himself 
was anointed for His ministry by the Holy Spirit, how 
necessary it is that we should be also! 


On the day of Pentecost was given the world's greatest 
example of God's power to transform the lives and char- 
acter of men, so as to make the weak strong and power- 
ful. Pentecost was the pouring out of the " former rain " 
of God's Spirit, jttst as in these last days there will h^ an 


outpouring of the "latter rain" (Hos. 6:3; Zech. 14:7; 
and Jas. 5:7). By His death on the cross, Jesus made so 
great an atonement for sin that God could safely pour 
out His Spirit on all mankind without the universe think- 
ing that He was regarding sin lightly. It was the atone- 
ment of Christ therefore that purchased the great Pente- 
costal gfift for the world. " When he ascended up on high, 
he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men" (Psa. 
68:18, and Eph. 4:8). Before the ascension of Christ 
the Holy Spirit was not yet poured upon all flesh, "be- 
cause that Jesus was not yet glorified" (John 7:39). 
Jesus told His disciples that it was expedient, or profita- 
ble, that He should go away, because if He did not go 
away the Comforter would not come (John 16:7). He 
must complete His great work of atonement for the world 
before the Comforter could come. And it was better for 
the followers of Jesus that the Holy Spirit should be poured 
upon them and upon the world than that Jesus Himself 
should remain with them. While in the body Jesus could 
be in only one place at a time, but the Comforter could 
be everywhere present to convince men of. sin and of 
righteousness and of judgment (John 16:8). His three 
great offices are to convince men of sin, to show them the 
way of righteousness, and to warn them of coming judg- 
ment. He does this by influencing men's hearts and minds 
from without, or by coming to dwell within them. Upon 
those in whom He dwells He bestows one or more of His 
seven different spiritual pfts. The seven different gifts 
of the Holy Spirit seem to be spoken of in Revelation as 
" the seven Spirits of God " (Rev. 4 : 5, and 5:6). They 
were probably typified in the golden candlestick with its 
seven branches and seven lamps in the tabernacle and tem- 
ples of the Old Testament. The apostle Paul seems to 
enumerate nine gifts of the Holy Spirit in i Corinthians 12 ; 


but healing and miracles are probably the same gift, and 
tongues and the interpretation of tongues probably belong 
to the one gift, so that there are but seven distinct gifts 

Before Pentecost, Jesus said to His disciples, " I have 
yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them 
now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he 
will guide you into all truth" (John 16:12, 13). He 
knew that His disciples were only weak spiritual babes, 
even after all he had taught them, and He commanded 
them to tarry at Jerusalem until they were endued with 
power from on high (Luke 24:49, and Acts 1:4-8). He 
also said to them, " But ye shall receive power, after that 
the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be wit- 
nesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and 
in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" 
(Acts 1:8). If the disciples had not believed that prom- 
ise there might have been no Pentecost. If they had said 
that they were already converted and that they were not 
looking for any deeper experience, the world might be still 
groping in heathen darkness. But their faith laid hold of 
the promise, and great were the results. 

The disciples seem to have prayed together ten days be- 
fore the promised Comforter came. One, two, three, four, 
five, then six days went by, and then a whole week, and 
still no Comforter came; but their faith did not waver. 
They tarried on in the upper room until the morning of 
the tenth day before the Comforter came. We know not 
why they had to tarry so long for the Holy Spirit, for 
there is no other Bible example of men praying so long a 
time before they received the Pentecostal gfift. Perhaps 
they did not fully meet God's conditions before the tenth 
day, or He may have designed that they should be fully 
prepared and humbled by long and lamest prayer so that 


they would not be puffed up and exalted by the gresit bless- 
ing He was about to pour upon them. It is more prob- 
able, however, that the great reason why God did not send 
the Holy Spirit sooner was because He purposed to send 
Him on the day of Pentecost, or fiftieth day after the 
passover (Pentecost means fiftieth), when multitudes of 
Jews from all over the world were present in Jerusalem. 
Pentecost was one of the three great annual feasts, or re- 
ligious gatherings, of the Jews. It was a time of rejoic- 
ing over the first-fruits, and it was appropriate that on 
that day the "first-fruits of the Spirit" (Rom. 8:23) 
should be poured upon the world. It is estimated that in 
the time of Christ between one and two million Jews were 
in Jerusalem to attend the feast of Pentecost. The Bible 
tells us about Jews of every nation being present to hear 
the disciples witness to the outpouring of the Spirit. The 
Jews were still God's "husbandmen," or chosen people, 
through whom He was revealing Himself to the world, just 
as the Gentiles are now His chosen people ; and by waiting 
until Pentecost to pour His Spirit upon them, He secured 
witnesses from every nation to testify to the outpouring 
of the Spirit. 

Early on the ^loming of Pentecost the Holy Spirit 
came with such demonstration and power that no one pres- 
ent could ever doubt the reality of His coming. "They 
were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there 
came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, 
and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And 
there appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire, 
and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled 
with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other 
tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance " (Acts 2: 1-4). 
Rev. William Arthur, in his splendid little book "The 

Tongue of Fire," suggests that the cloven tongues typified 



the new power which the disciples would receive to preach 
the gospel, and that is the generally accepted opinion. The 
cloven tongues may have typified the fact that their power 
of speech would be doubled, and also that they would not 
speak of themselves but that another would speak through 
them. When the Holy Ghost fell on them He gave them 
power to witness for Christ When Jesus called the ignor- 
ant fishermen from the sea of Galilee to come and follow 
Him, He promised to make them fishers of men (Matt. 
4: 19). On the day of Pentecost this promise was fulfilled, 
and they indeed became fishers of men. On that day the 
Lord enabled them to catch more men than they caught 
fish in the miraculous draught of fish on the sea of Galilee. 
Peter and John, two of the Galilean fishermen, afterwards 
spoke with such boldness that the people, who knew that 
they were unlearned and ignorant men, ''took knowledge 
of them, that they had been with Jesus" (Acts 4:13). 
Before leaving His disciples, Jesus had promised that they 
should do even greater works than He did (John 14: 12), 
and this promise Mras also fulfilled at Pentecost. During 
Christ's earthly ministry very few people seem to have 
been converted to God through Him. The greatest num- 
ber of converts mentioned is "five hundred brethren" 
(i Cor, 15:6). But after He ascended to the Father, and 
. sent the promised Comforter, the disciples led three thou- 
sand converts to the foot of the cross in one day, and 
several days later five thousand more seem to have been 
converted (Acts 4:4). Surely these were greater works 
than Jesus accomplished during His earthly ministry! In 
a moment of time God changed the ignorant fishermen of 
Galilee into the world's greatest preachers. In a moment 
of time they learned more about Christ than they had 
learned in three years walking and talking with Hun U^ 


fore they were filled with the Spirit, although He was the 
greatest teacher who ever appeared in human form. Al- 
though the apostles had been so long a time with the Son 
of God Himself, and had seen all His miracles and lis- 
tened to all His teachings, they were only spiritual babes, 
and did not understand the first principles of the gospel, 
until the day of Pentecost They quarreled among them- 
selves who should be greatest, they looked for Christ to 
immediately set up an earthly kingdom and subdue His 
enemies, some of them resorted to the use of carnal wea- 
pons, all deserted Christ in His trial and condemnation, 
Peter denied Him with swearing and cursing, and in many 
other ways the apostles showed their lack of spiritual 
power and understanding. But on the day of Pentecost 
this was all changed, and they received ''power from on 
high." Poor, weak, vacillating Peter, who had promised 
to be true to Christ though all others should forsake Him 
and soon afterwards denied Him with an oath, was now 
transformed into another man. In the power of the Spirit 
he arose and preached such a sermon that three thousand 
persons were pricked to their heart, and cried out " Men 
and brethren, what shall we do?" All the apostles sud- 
denly became spiritual grants, faced the enemy with cour- 
age, preached the gospel with boldness, and afterwards 
carried it throughout the world, and all except John seem 
to have suffered as martyrs for Christ. 

The multitudes who gathered tc^ether to hear the dis- 
ciples on the day of Pentecost did not believe that Jesus 
was Divine. They thought that they had crucified a mere 
man and not the Son of God. But the Holy Ghost, wit- 
nessing through the disciples, convinced them that Jesus 
was Divine, and that they had crucified the Son of God. 
Then it was that they were pricked to their heart with thiC 


arrow of conviction and cried aloud for mercy. It is the 
work of the Holy Spirit to glorify Jesus, and show men 
that He is the Divine Son of God. " No man can say that 
Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost " (i Cor. 12: 3) ; 
but when the Holy Spirit lays hold of a man's heart he is 
soon convinced of Christ's Divinity. It is His work to 
draw all men to Christ. The great Spirit-filled evangelist 
Charles G. Finney said that wherever He went all forms 
of unbelief vanished when the Holy Spirit was poured upon 
the people. The Holy Spirit can teach men more about 
Christ in one hour than the greatest preacher can teach 
them in fifty or even in a hundred years without the Spirit 
enlightening them. 


As Moses was .the greatest leader and writer among 
Old Testament saints, so Paul was the greatest leader and 
writer among the New Testament saints. Persecuter, mur- 
derer, blasphemer, and " chief of sinners " though he was 
before his conversion, God completely transformed his life, 
and made him one of the greatest examples of what Divine 
grace and power can do in and through a human being. 
On his way to Damascus to bind the saints and deliver 
them to death, he was suddenly smitten down in the road 
by a light from heaven far more powerful than the noon- 
day sun. Some of the destructive critics, or so-called 
"higher critics," who know little about the grace and 
power or God, have suggested that Paul had a sunstroke 
on his way to Damascus ; and someone has rejoined that if 
a sunstroke can so transform the life and character of a 
man, it is a pity these so-called " higher critics " could not 
all have sunstrokes too. Paul seems to have been blinded 
by the glory and power of the light which shone from 


heaven, and after his ccmversion to Christ he had to be led 
into Damascus. Then God appeared in a vision to an 
earnest Christian named Ananias, and sent him to instruct 
and pray for Paul. Laying his hands on Paul, as was then 
the usual custom in praying for a person, he said, '' Brother 
Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the 
way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest i^ 
ceive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost " (Acts 
9: 17). Paul's eyesight was immediately restored, and he 
was baptized. At this time he was doubtless filled with 
the Spirit, whether before or after his baptism we cannot 
say. Soon after this he went down into Arabia, and dur- 
ing the interval between the 9th and 13th chapters of Acts 
no mention is made concerning him. Conybeare and How- 
son, in their great work on the life and labors of St. Paul, 
and other authorities on the subject, believe that during 
this interval of about three years Paul was in the desert 
of Arabia, learning of God (see Gal. 1:17, 18). They 
believe that it was then that he was caught up into the 
third heaven, and heard things unlawful to be uttered (2 
Cor. 12:4). However that may be, it is certain that he 
had such an abundance of visions and revelations from 
God as no human being could have unless they also had 
something to keep them humble. Mr. Moody, the great 
evangelist, used to say that if God had revealed anything 
more concerning heaven we would be so homesick to go 
there that we could not attend to our everyday duties on 
earth ; and that if He had revealed anything more concern- 
ing future punishment in hell men would be so terror- 
stricken that they would not be able to attend to their or- 
dinary occupations. Perhaps that is what Paul meant when 
he said that it was not lawful for a man to utter what he 
had heard in paradise. Paul himself could not have borne 


the glory of these revdatioiis, but for the fact that a ** thorn 
in the flesh, the messenger of satan/' was allowed to buffet 
him, lest he should be exalted above measure through the 
abundance of the revelations given unto him (2 Cor. 12 : 7). 
Three times he besought God to remove this " thorn," be- 
fore he realized that the Lord allowed it for the purpose 
of keeping him humble. When at last he realized how 
God's strength was made perfect through his weakness, he 
said, " Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my in- 
firmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me. There- 
fore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in neces- 
sities, in persecutions, in distress, for Chrst's sake: for 
when I am weak then am I strong " (verses 9 and 10). In 
other words, he could say, ** Lord, if I need afflictions and 
troubles to keep me humble when I have such great reve- 
lations of Thy glory, I will be glad to have such afflictions, 
so that Thy power may rest upon me." There are many 
different opinions with regard to the nature of Paul's 
"thorn in the flesh." Some think that it was a sin of 
some kind which he could not overcome, and they use 
this as an excuse for living in sin. But Paul represents 
himself as " free from sin " (Rom. 6: 7, 18, 22, and 8:2), 
as ''dead to sin" (Rom. 6:2, 6, 11), and as more than 
conqueror (Rom. 9:37; 2 Cor. 2:14). Whatever Paul's 
thorn was, it certainly was not sin, for the apostle would 
not glory in sin, as he gloried in his infirmities. He said 
that charity, or love, '* rejoiceth not in iniquity " ( i Cor. 
13 ; 6). Some have thought that Paul's thorn was epilepsy, 
others that it was dyspepsia, and so on; but the most rea- 
sonable supposition seems to be that it was weak tyts. 
That would make his bodily presence seem contemptible 
(2 Cor. 10:10), and would account for him saying that 
the Galatian brethren would have plucked out their ows 


eyes and given them to him if it had been possible for 
them to do so (Gal. 4:15). It would also explain the 
fact that nearly all of his letters were 'Written by secre- 
taries, and that sometimes two or three secretaries were 
employed in writing one letter (see notes at the close of 
his epistles, from Romans to Hebrews). One of the long- 
est epistles written by Paul himself was the book of Gala- 
tians ; and at the close of it he says, " Ye see how large a 
letter I have written unto you with mine own hand " (Gal. 
6:11); and yet the epistle is not a remarkably long one 
for so great a scholar to write if he had good eye-sight 
and nerves, for Paul was one of the greatest scholars of 
his time. Finally, at his trial before the high-priest, Paul 
seems not to have recognized him (Acts 23:5), although 
anyone with good eye-sight ought to have been able to 
recognize the high priest by his gorgeous robes. All these 
facts seem to point definitely to the conclusion that Paul 
had weak eyes; and some think that his eyes never fully 
recovered from the dazzling effect of the great supernat- 
ural light he saw on his way to Damascus. Whatever 
Paul's " thorn in the flesh ** may have been, it was neces- 
sary to keep him htmible when God was showing him so 
great revelations. None of us, perhaps, have had so great 
revelations as Paul, yet it may be that afflictions have been 
necessary to keep us humble also. 

The power of the Holy Spirit was so manifest in the 
preaching of Paul that even the great Roman ruler Felix 
trembled when the little apostle stood before him and rea- 
soned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come ; 
and King Agrippa was almost persuaded to be a Qiristian. 
Like a fire-brand he went through Asia Minor and Greece, 
and finally to Rome also, kindling a mighty conflagration 
whkh soon enveloped the whole world. When Paul and 


Silas came to Thessalonica, all the city was in an uproar, 
saying, ''These that have turned the world upside down 
have come hither also" (Acts 17:6). Some one has said 
that they turned the world upside down and right side up 
for God. Truly the apostle Paul could say, "And my 
speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of 
man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of 
power" (i Cor. 2:4). He also said, "Our gospel came 
not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the 
Holy Ghost, and in much assurance " (i Thes. 1:5). And 
in another place he said, " The weapons of our warfare 
are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down 
of strongholds" (2 Cor. 10:4). 

The apostle Paul had drunk so deeply from the wells 
of salvation (Isa. 12:3) that he longed for others to en- 
joy the same experience. We find him exhorting the Ro- 
man brethren to be dead indeed unto sin (Rom. 6 and 8), 
to bring forth fruit unto holiness (Rom. 6:22), to pray 
in the Spirit (Rom. 8:26), to present their bodies a liv- 
ing sacrifice to God (Rom. 12: i), and to be led by the 
Spirit in everything (Rom. 12:6-8). He wrote to them, 
" I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in 
the fulness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ " (Rom. 
15:29). Would that every one of God's children could 
say the same. He urged the Corinthian brethren not to 
remain weak and carnal, even as babes in Christ, but to 
become strong and spiritual (i Cor. 3). He wrote to them, 
''Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not 
have you ignorant" (i Cor. 12:1), after which he de- 
voted a great part of his letter to explaining spiritual gifts, 
without which the church would be like a body without 
eyes, hands, feet, and so on. In his second epistle to them 
he explained how the Spirit of the Lord changed people 


into the image of the Lord, from glory to glory (2 Cor. 

3: 18). In this epistle he urged them to be separate from 

the world (6:17), to perfect holiness (7:1), and to be 

perfect (13:11). He tells the Galatian brethren how 

he travailed in soul for them until Christ should be formed 

in them (Gal. 4: 19). He was so anxious for them to be 

like Christ that he was in a great agony of prayer for 

them until this should be accomplished, or until they should 

be transformed into the Lord's image. He told them to 

walk in the Spirit and they would not fulfil the lust of 

the flesh (Gal. 6: 17). In his epistle to the Ephesians, 

Paul again and again urges them to ''be filled with the 

Spirit" (5:18) He says, "I . . . cease not to give thanks 
for you, making mention of you in my prayers; that the 

God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may 
give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the 
knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being 
enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his 
calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inherit- 
ance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of 
his power to us-ward who believe, according to the wor! 
ing of his mighty power" (Eph. i: 16-19). He also says 
to them, " I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and 
earth is named. That he would grant unto you, according 
to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might 
by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in 
your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded 
in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what 
is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And 
to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that 
ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto 
him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that 


we ask or think, according to the power that work- 
cth in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ 

Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen'* 
(Eph. 3:14-20). He explained to them that spiritual 
gifts were for the perfecting of the saints, that they might 
become mature men, " Till we all come in the unity of the 
faith, and in the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a 
perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the ful- 
ness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13). Without these spiritual 
gifts in the church. Christians would never become strong 
and mature. Paul urged the Ephesian brethren to put on 
the whole spiritual armor of God, that they might be able 
to stand against every temptation (Eph. 6). With this 
armor they would "be able to quench all the fiery darts 
of the wicked" (verse 16). In like manner Paul prayed 
for the Colossian brethren to be filled with the knowledge 
of God's will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding 
(Col. 1:9); and he prayed for the Thessalonian brethren 
that God would sanctify them wholly, and that their whole 
spirit, and soul, and body might be preserved blameless 
until the coming of the Lord (i Thes. 5:23). He urged 
both the Thessalonian and Hebrew brethren to follow holi- 
ness, without which no man would see the Lord (i Thes. 
4:3, 7 and Heb. 12:14).. These are only a few of the 
many examples of Paul's longings and prayers that others 
might partake of the same deep, rich, full spiritual expe- 
rience which he enjoyed. 


Among the men "full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom" 
selected as deacons of the first Christian church, at Jerusa- 
lem, was Philip, the evangelist (Acts 6). In Acts, the 
eighth chapter, we read the story of how he went to Sa« 


maria and preached the gospel. There was a great revival 
in that city under his preaching. Many believed the things 
he preached, for Qirist had prepared the way when He 
preached to the woman of that city and then to all the 
people (John 4). Great miracles were wrought, and there 
was g^eat joy in the city. The people who were converted 
under Philip's preaching were baptized, both men and 
women. "Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem 
heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they 
sent unto them Peter and John. Who, when they were 
come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the 
Holy Ghost (For as yet he was fallen upon none of 
them; only they were baptized in the name of the Lord 
Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they re- 
ceived the Holy Ghost" (Acts 8: 14-17). 


In the nineteenth chapter of Acts, we read about Paul 
going to the city of Ephesus. "And finding certain dis- 
ciples. He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost 
since ye believed?" If every believer had received the Holy 
Ghost, then Paul's question would have been a very fool- 
ish one. But these believers had "not so much as heard 
whether there be any Holy Ghost." This surprised Paul, 
for he thought that they must have heard about the Holy 
Spirit when they were baptized in the name of the Father, 
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. He said, "Unto 
what then were ye baptized?" They then told him, "Unto 
John's baptism." This explained why they had not heard 
about the Holy Ghost when they were baptized, for John 
only baptized unto repentance, and not in the name of the 
Fatiier, Son, and Holy Ghost. "When they heard this, they 
were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus," or with 
Christ's baptism, which was in the name of the Father, 


Son, and Holy Ghost ''And when Paul had laid his hands 
upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them ; and they spake 
with tongues, and prophesied" (verses i-6). Paul may 
have referred to this experience of the Ephesian disciples, 
and to other similar experiences, when he afterwards said, 
in his epistle to the Ephesians, "In whom ye also trusted, 
after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your 
salvation; in whom also, after that ye believed, ye were 
sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise" (Eph. 1:13). 
The early Christian writers all refer to the filling of the 
Spirit as the "sealing" of the Spirit. 


Most of the great Bible scholars and commentators, 
and most of the great church historians are agreed upon 
the fact it was the custom of the early church to pray for 
all believers to be filled with the Spirit. The usual custom 
was to baptize the converts, and then the elders would lay 
hands on them and pray for them to receive the gift of the 
Holy Ghost. The laying on of hands (in prayer for the 
Holy Spirit) is mentioned in Hebrews 6 : 2 as one of the 
" first principles, " or foundation principles, of the gospel ; 
and in the case of Paul, the Samaritan disciples, and the 
Ephesian disciples, we have examples of this early custom. 
The Holy Spirit came without the la}ring on of hands on 
the day of Pentecost, but some think that this was because 
there were then no Spirit-filled persons to lay hands on the 
disciples and pray for them to be filled with the Spirit 
The Holy Spirit also fell upon G)melius and his house- 
hold and friends without t];^e laying on of hands in prayer, 
and while Peter was preaching to them (Acts 10:44) ; but 
some suppose that this was because no Jew would lay hands 
on Gentiles to pray for them to be filled with the Spirit 
until after God poured His Spirit on Cornelius. The 


Scrqyttires say that the Jews were astonished when they 
saw that God had poured His Spirit upon the Gentiles 
also (Acts 10:45).) '^c great scholar and Bible com- 
mentatcM-y Dr. Lightfoot, tells us, in his ExerciiaHons, on 
Acts 2: 17, that it was a maxim among the Jews ''That the 
Holy Spirit is never imparted to any Gentile. " Q>melius 
also received the Holy Spirit before he was baptized, but 
some have thought that this was because no Jew would 
have baptized Gentiles until after God poured His Spirit 
upcm Cornelius and his friends. Peter would doubtless 
have refused to preach to Gentiles had not God shown Him 
tfiree times in a vision to do so (Acts 10). However this 
may be, it seems certain that the usual order in the early 
Christian church was first conversion, then baptism, then 
die laying on of hands in prayer for the Holy Spirit Peter 
doubtless referred to this order of things on the day of 
Pentecost, when the people were pricked to their hearts 
with conviction of sin and cried aloud, ''Men and brethren, 
what shall we do?'' Peter said, "Repent, and be bap- 
tized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for 
the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the 
Holy Ghost. For the promise is to you, and to your chil- 
dren, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord 
our God shall call " (Acts 2 : 38, 39). Severd of the early 
Christian writers express the opinion that the Ethiopian 
eunuch was filled with the Spirit immediately after his bap- 
tism, and give this as the reason why he went on his way 
rejoicing after the Spirit caught away Philip, instead of 
feeling sad at the separation (Acts 8:.39). This explana- 
tion seems to be a very reasonable one. 

The laying on of hands in prayer was a very ancient 
custom, and the early Christians* probably adopted it from 
the Jews. Jacob laid his hands upon the sons of Joseph 
wlmi blessing th^n (Genesis 48: 14). Moses laid hands 


on Joshua, as the Lord commanded him to do, when pray- 
ing for Joshua to be filled with the Spirit (Num. 27: 18, 
23), the early Christians usually laid hands on the sick 
when praying for their recovery (Mark 16), Paul speaks 
of the gift given to Timothy by the laying on of the hands 
of the presbytery, or elders (i Timotiiy 4: 14; 2 Timothy 
1:6), and so on. The custom of laying hands on min- 
isters when ordaining them is practiced in the churches to- 
day; but the ancient custom of laying hands on all be- 
lievers, and praying for them to be filled with the Spirit, 
is no longer observed by many of the Protestant churches. 
While God can, and doubtless often does, give the Holy 
Spirit without the laying on of hands, it might be well to 
restore this ancient custom. It probably is a means of 
strengthening the faith and concentrating the thoughts of 
the person prayed for. The Greek Church and other East- 
em churches, the Roman Catholic Church, the Lutheran 
Church, the Church of England, and a few smaller 
churches, still retain a relic of the old apostolic custom of 
laying on hands in prayer for the Holy Spirit in what they 
call Confirmation Services, although it is to be feared that 
these services are often little more than a mere form. In 
the confirmation services of all these churches the bishops, 
or priests, lay hands on the persons confirmed and pray 
for them to be filled with the Holy Ghost. The mere form, 
however, amounts to but little unless the Holy Spirit actu- 
ally comes to dwell within. If He does this either with or 
without laying on of hands, there will be new life and 
power in the experience of the Christian. 

The early Christian church believed in and prayed for 
the filling of the Holy Spirit, and this was the secret of its 
power. It lived in the Spirit, walked in the Spirit, prayed 
in the Spirit, and sang in the Spirit. Its meetings were 
conducted in the Pentecostal order, or manner; everyone 


praying, singing, or testifying as they were moved by the 
Spirit The Holy Spirit prayed through them, spoke 
through them, sang through them, comforted them, anointed 
them, strengthened them, and enlightened them. Of the 
first church, at Jerusalem, we read, " And great grace was 
upon them all" (Acts 4:33). Soon after Pentecost they 
were gathered together in prayer, and the Holy Ghost again 
came with such power as to shake the place where they 
were assembled together, and all who were not previously 
filled with the Spirit were now filled, so that "they were 
all filled with the Holy Ghost, and spake the word of God 
with boldness" (Acts 4:31). Concerning other churches 
in the Holy Land, we read, "Then had the churches rest 
throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and were 
edified, and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the 
comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied " (Acts 9: 31). 
The Gentiles as well as the Jews had their Pentecost, 
when the Holy Ghost fell upon Cornelius and his house- 
hold and friends (Acts 10), and after that Jews and Gen- 
tiles were all one in Christ (Romans 3:9; Galatians 3:22- 
28; Ephesians 2: 11-19). Some believe that Cornelius and 
his friends were justified, or saved, before the Holy Ghost 
fell upon them, and the words of Peter seem to indicate 
this (Acts 10:34,35). But if they were not justified be- 
fore Peter spoke to them, they were both justified and filled 
with the Spirit while he was speaking to them (Acts 10 :44) . 
The Apostle Paul could say to the church at Corinth, 
" Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the 
Spirit of God dwelleth in you" (i Corinthians 3:16). 
And to Christians in general the Apostle John could write, 
" But ye have an unction, from the Holy One, and ye know 
all things" (i John 2:20). These, and many other Scrip- 
tures, show that the New Testament church was truly a 
Spirit-filled one. We read concerning the men chosen a3 


deacons of the first Christian church, that they were *'full 
of the Holy Ghost and wisdom" (Acts 6:3,5). One of 
these, Stephen, was so filled with the Spirit that his face 
shone like the countenance of an angel (Acts 6: 15). With 
such unction and officers, it is little wonder that the early 
Christian church went forth conquering and to conquer, 
and soon won the world nominally to Christ; a few Ju- 
dean peasants overturning the entire fabric of paganism. 

" Oh, for the Spirit's quickening power; 
Oh, for a soul-refreshing shower; 
Oh, for the Pentecostal power; 
Lord| send it now/' 


The two preceding chapters describe the deeper spiritual 
experiences of Bible characters. Doubtless there were 
many Spirit-filled saints, especially among the Gentiles in 
Old Testament times, whose names are not so much as men- 
tioned in the Scriptures. 


A careful study of the writings of Socrates, Plato, and 
other great Greek and Roman philosophers, will reveal the 
fact that some of these sages had considerable knowledge 
concerning the true God. They may have received this 
knowledge through contact with the Jews, or by reason, or 
by direct revelation, or by all of these means. 

Socrates, the famous Greek philosopher, seems not only 
to have had a knowledge of God, but he seems also to have 
realized something concerning the Holy Spirit's power. He 
constantly affirmed that he was guided and taught by a 
" friendly daemon, or spirit, and to this fact he ascribed 
whatever wisdom he possessed (See Plato's Apology for 
Socrates, Chapter xviii). It may be that the Spirit of God 
actually taught these great heathen philosophers many 
things, as He seems to have taught Cyrus, Nebuchadnezzar 
and some other Gentile kings mentioned in the Bible. 

The famous Greek philosopher and mathematician, 
Pythagoras, who laid the foundations of the higher math- 
ematics of today, said, "Without light (illumination^ or 



enlightenment) nothing is to be uttered concerning God.** 
This very much resembles what Paul taught when he said, 
'' But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit 
of God ; for they are foolishness unto him ; neither can he 
know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (i Co- 
rinthians 2: 14). 

The great Roman orator, Cicero, expressed the opinion 
that no man could attain to moral excellence " without a 
certain divine inspiration" (See Cicero's Nature of the 
Gods, Boo^ II). 

The great heathen philosopher Seneca, writing to Lu- 
cilius, Epistle 61^ says, " God is present with us, He is with 
thee, He is within thee. This I say, Lucilius: a Holy 
Spirit dwelleth within us, of our good and evil works the 
observer and the guardian. As we treat Him, so He 
treateth us ; and no man is good except God be with him. 
Can any rise above external fortunes, unless by His aid? 
He it is from whom every good man receiveth both honor 
and upright purposes." 


The early Christian writers, both the Greek and Roman 
Fathers of the Church, testify to the fact that in the second 
century and later, it was customary to pray for Christians 
to be filled with the Spirit, just as they were prayed for 
in Bible times. In the days of TertuUian, who wrote in the 
second century, it was customary also to anoint the bap- 
tized believers with oil before praying for them to be filled 
with the Spirit. The oil was used as a symbol of the 
Holy Spirit, as it is used all through the Scriptures, al- 
though there is no Bible example of anointing before 
prayer for the Holy Spirit.. In Old Testament times oil 
was used in anointing the priests and kings, as a symbol 
of the Holy Spirit's anointing. In New Testament times 


it was used to anoint the sick before prayer was offered 
for their recovery (James 5 : 14), thus symbolizing that the 
Holy Spirit would do the healing. The custom of anoint- 
ing persons before praying for them to be filled with the 
Spirit seems to have become common soon after the time 
of the apostles, as it was very widespread in the second 
century. As the water in baptism symbolised the washing 
or cleansing from sin, so the anointing with oil was used 
to symbolize the anointing of the Holy Spirit 

Tertullian, writing near the close of the second century, 
in his book on Baptism, Chapter vi., says : '' The baptized, 
when they come up out of the bath, are anointed with the 
holy oil, and then the hand is laid upon them with the in- 
vocation of the Holy Spirit. " This is clear testimony from 
one of the earliest Qiristian writers to show that in his 
day it was customary to pray for the newly baptized con- 
verts to be filled with the Spirit.. In the same book, Chap- 
ter viii., he also says : '' After baptism the hand is imposed, 
by blessing, calling and inviting the Holy Spirit ; then that 
most Holy Spirit willingly descends from the Father upon 
the bodies that are cleansed and blessed.^' Again, in the 
same chapter, he says : '' In baptism we do not receive the 
Holy Ghost, but being cleansed by baptismal water, we are 
disposed for the Holy Spirit under the hand of the min- 
ister/' A little further on he says : " Is it not lawful for 
God, by an instnunent of His own under holy hands to ac- 
cord the heights and sublimity of the Spirit?" Still 
further on in the same chapter, speaking concerning the 
happy condition of the church at Rome, which had not 
then become corrupt, he says : " She believes in God, she 
signs with the water, she clothes with the Spirit, she feeds 
with the eucharist, she exhorts to martyrdom; and against 
this order or institution she receives no man." This means 
that, near the close of the second century, no one could 


become a member of the church at Rome (one of the larg- 
est and most influential churches) unless he believed in 
prayer for the newly converted and baptized to be clothed 
with the Holy Spirit. In his book on The Resurrection of 
the Body, Chapter viii., TertuUian thus explains the need of 
being filled with the Spirit: "The flesh is consigned or 
sealed that the soul may be guarded or defended ; and the 
body is overshadowed by the imposition of hands, that the 
soul may be enlightened by the Holy Spirit." 

That prayer for the Holy Spirit was no mere form in 
the second century is evident from the testimony of 
Irenaeus. Writing about the middle of the second century, 
or about 150 A. D., he tells us that in his time, "When 
God saw it necessary, and the church prayed and fasted 
much, they did miraculous things, even of bringing back 
the spirit to a dead man." 

Theophilus of Antioch, writing about A. D. 170, or not 
long after the time of the Apostles, says that the name 
Christian is derived from the Greek word for oil, chrism, 
and means " anointed one," referring to the fact that the 
followers of Christ were anointed with the Spirit. Living 
at so early a day, and in the city where they were first 
called Christians (Acts 11 : 26), his explanation seems to be 
a reasonable one. Perhaps it was because Christ was com- 
monly called "The Anointed" (that is what the word 
Christ means) which led to Christians being called 
"Anointed Ones," or Christians. Theophilus says: "We 
are called Christians because we are anointed with the unc- 
tion of God." With regard to the need of this unction, he 
says : " For who is there that enters into contention or ath- 
letic combats, but is anointed with oil ? " This refers to the 
ancient custom that athletes had of anointing their bodies 
with oil before entering into contests or combats. The oil 
was supposed to add to their strength and suppleness. Theo- 


philus suggests that Christians should be anointed with the 
Divine oil of God's Holy Spirit before entering into spirit- 
ual combat. 

Qement of Alexandria, writing about the close of the 
second century, or soon after apostolic times, tells how the 
Apostle John delivered a young man to the care of a 
bishop, who baptized him^ and " afterwards he sealed him 
with the Lord's signature, as with a safe and perfect 
guard" (see account in Eusebius, Book III., Chapter 17). 
The filling of the Spirit is commonly called " The Lord's 
seal," or "The Lord's signature," by the early Christian 
writers. After the church began to anoint persons with oil 
before praying for them to be filled with the Spirit, the 
ceremony of anointing with oil was called signaculum, or 
sealing. The term " sealing " was probably derived from 
Ephesians i : 13, where Paul speaks about the Ephesians 
being sealed with the Holy Ghost after they had believed. 
He probably refers to the time when they were filled with 
the Spirit in answer to his prayer, as recorded in Acts 19, 
and to other similar experiences. However this may be, 
it is certain that the early Christian writers called the fill- 
ing of the Spirit the " sealing of the Spirit." 

The great writer Origen, about A. D. 210, also refers 
to the custom of praying for the newly baptized to be 
filled with the Spirit. In his Seventh Homily on Ezekiel, 
he says: "The unction of Christ, of holy doctrine, is the 
oil by which the holy man is anointed, having been in- 
structed in the Scriptures, and taught how to be baptized ; 
then changing a few things he (the minister) says to him. 
Now you are no longer a catechumen, now you are re- 
generated in baptism; such a man receives the unction of 
God." This quotation shows, as all students of church 
history know, that in the time of Origen the church was 
rapidly losing her simplicity and power. The doctrine of 


baptismal r^eneration was very widespread, and tlie 
church was beginning to attach more importance to form? 
and ceremonies than to a living faith in Christ. She had 
become so wrapped up in the symbols as to forget the 
things they symbolized. Even prayer for the Hdy Spirit 
was becoming a mere form, which in the following century 
was named G)niirmation. In Bible times any Spirit-filled 
Qiristians could pray for others to be filled with the Spirit, 
as Ananias, who was not an apostle, prayed for Paul. But 
gradually the Western Qiurch, which afterward became 
the Roman Catholic, came to believe that only bishops had 
the power or authority to pray for others to be filled with 
the Spirit, and bishops no longer held the humble offices that 
they held in the early church, when there seem to have 
been several bishops, or elders, in each church (see Phil. 
I : I ; Acts 20: 17, 28; and so on). The Eastern Church, 
which afterward became the Greek Church, has always 
held that any ordinary priest has the right to lay on bauds 
in prayer for the Holy Spirit. 

Urban the First, one of the earliest bishops of Rome, 
writing about A. D. 225, says : " All faithful people ought 
to receive the Holy Spirit by imposition of the bishop's 
hands after baptism " (see Binius' General Councils, Tome 
L, page 293). 

The great St. C3rprian, writing about A. D. 250, tells 
how the officials of the church in his day prayed for the 
newly converted and baptized to be filled with the Spirit. 
Speaking concerning the Bible account of how Peter and 
John prayed for the Samaritan disciples to be filled with 
the Spirit (Acts 8), he says: " The faithful in Samaria had 
already obtained baptism; only that which was wanting 
Peter and John supplied, by prayer and imposition of hands, 
to the end the Holy Ghost might be poured upon them. 
Which also is done amongst ourselves, when they which be 


sireaily baptized are brought to the rulers of the church to 
obtain by our prayer and imposition of hands the Holy 
Ghost " (see Cyprian's Epistle 73, To Jubianus). Cyprian, 
with his colleagues, wrote to Cornelius, Bishop of Rome, 
saying ''that those whom they would have to be safe 
against the corruptions of their adversaries, they should 
arm them with the guards and defenses of the Lord's ful- 
ness*' (see Cyprian's Epistle 74). In Epistle 72, to 
Stephanus, Cyprian contends that prayer for converts to be 
filled with the Spirit is necessary " to complete man's sanc- 

Eusebius, the historian of the early church, writing about 
the dose of the third century, in his Church History, Book 
vi., Chapter xliii., tells how Novatius was baptized while 
sick, but was not prayed for that he might receive the Holy 
Ghost. On account of this he was censured by Cornelius, 
Bishop of Rome, " Because," says Eusebius, " when he re- 
covered he did not receive those other things which by 
the rule of the church he ought to have received, he was 
not consigned with the Lord's signature by the hands of 
the bishop, which having not obtained, how can he be sup- 
posed to have received the Holy Ghost? " These words of 
Eusebius show that in his day the Western Church, after- 
wards the Roman Catholic, had already become so formal 
as to imagine that the Holy Spirit could only be obtained 
through the prayers and imposition of hands of a bishop. 
They also show that it was the rule of the church in the 
third century that all baptized converts should be prayed 
for that they might receive the Holy Ghost. We have al- 
ready shown that this was the custom of the church in the 
first and second century. Eusebius, the early church his- 
torian, writes again concerning prayer for the Holy Spirit, 
in his Church History, Book iii., Chapter 23, where he calls 
the filling of the Spirit, through laying on of hands in 


prayer after baptism, " a perfect phylactery or guard, even 
the Lord's seal." 

Firmilian, writing also in the third century, quoted by 
Cyprian in Epistle 75, compares St. Paul's " confirming " of 
the disciples at Ephesus (Acts 19) to the confirming of 
people in his own time. Firmilian and St. Ambrose seem 
to be among the first to use the word " confirm," or " con- 
firmation," to describe the laying on of hands in prayer for 
the Holy Spirit. The term is doubtless derived from 2 
Corinthians i : 21, 22, " Now he which stablisheth (or coiP' 
firmeth, as it is rendered in the ancient Latin versions) us 
with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God ; who hath 
also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our 
hearts." The ancient writers of the church believed that 
the ctablishing, anointing, and sealing referred to in these 
verses meant the filling of the Holy Spirit ; and in the time 
of St. Ambrose the Latin word conHrmatio, which means 
confirmation, or establishing, began to be the common word 
for describing imposition of hands in prayer for the Holy 
Spirit. The Holy Spirit does confirm, or establish, people ; 
and the word confirmation is a good word to describe the 
filling of the Holy Spirit; but the word has been used so 
much to describe what is often a mere form or ceremony 
administered sometimes by wicked and corrupt popes, card- 
inals, and bishops, that it has lost much of the simplicity 
and power of its meaning. 

Melchiades, about 320 A. D., in his epistle to the Bishop 
of Spain, thus describes the need of being filled with the 
Spirit, which he calls "confirmation." "What does the 
mystery of confirmation profit me after the mystery of bap- 
tism? Certainly we did not receive all in our baptism, if 
after the washing we want something of another kind. Let 
your charity attend. As the military order requires that 
when th^ general enters a soldier into the list he does not 


only mark him but furnishes him with arms for the battle ; 
so in him that is baptized this blessing is his ammunition. 
You have given a soldier, give him also weapons. And what 
will it profit him if a father gives a great estate to his son 
if he does not care to provide a tutor for him ? Therefore 
the Holy Spirit is the guardian of our regeneration in 
Christy He is Comforter, and He is the defender." The 
above comparison of the regenerated person who is not filled 
with the Spirit to a soldier without armor or weapons is 
not only a striking one, but it is also Scriptural. Paul ex- 
horts Christians to put on the whole armor of God (Ephes- 
ians 6). Melchiades also says: '^ Although to them that 
die presently the benefits of regeneration are sufficient, yet 
to them that live the auxiliaries of confirmation are neces- 
sary" (quoted by Gratian, On Consecration, Division 5, 
on "The Holy Spirit"). 

Eusebius Emesenus, about A. D. 350, in his Sermon on 
Pentecost, says : " That which imposition now gives to every 
one in confirming neoph3rtes, the same did the Holy Spirit 
then (on Pentecost) confer on all believers. But because 
we have said that imposition of hands and confirmation 
confers something on him that is bom again and regen- 
erated in Christ; perhaps someone will be ready to think 
with himself, and say, 'What can the ministry of con- 
firmation profit me after the mystery of baptism?'" He 
then proceeds to show, like Melchiades, that regeneration 
makes us soldiers, but the filling of the Spirit clothes us 
with armor and weapons. 

Gr^ory of Nazianzen, about A. D. 370, in Discourse 
xl.. Chapter 4, says, concerning the imposition of hands 
in prayer for the Holy Spirit : " We therefore call it a seal 
or signature, as being a guard and custody to us, and a 
sign of the Lord's dominion over us." In his Exhortation 
to St. Lavacrium, Discourse id.. Chapter 15, he says: 


''How shall the angel know what sheep belong to his 
charge, how shall he snatch them from the enemy, if he 
does not see their mark and signature?" The mark and 
signature he refers to is the seal of the Holy Spirit. 
Many of the early Christian writers refer to the filling 
of the Spirit as the Lord's seal. They believed that in re- 
generation they became the Lord's, but that the filling of 
the Spirit was the Lord setting His seal or brand on them 
just as a man might brand the sheep that were already his. 

St. Ambrose, another great Christian writer, about 
A. D. 370, in his book on the Sacraments, Chapter 2, calls 
the reception of the Holy Spirit through imposition of 
hands and prayer, "a spiritual seal remaining after bap- 
tism that perfection may be had." In his book Concern- 
ing the Mystery, Chapter vii., commenting on the words of 
Paul, " He that confirmeth us with you in Christ, is God, " 
he says ; " Remember that thou who hast been confirmed, 
hast received the spiritual signature, the spirit of wisdom 
and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the 
spirit of knowledge and godliness, the spirit of holy fear; 
keep that thou hast received; the Father hath sealed thee, 
and Christ thy Lord hath confirmed thee." 

The celebrated St. Chrysostom, writing about A. D. 
375, in his Homily xiii., on Acts, says : " For it is not all 
one to obtain remission of sins and to have received this 
virtue or power from above." In Homily xviii., on Acts 
8: 16-21, he says: '* But they, it says, having come down, 
prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost; 
for (W yet he was fallen upon none of them. Then laid 
they their hands upon them, and they received the Holy 
Ghost. Seest thou not that it was not to be done in any 
ordinary manner, but it needed great power to give the 
Holy Spirit? For it is not all one, to obtain remission 
of sins, and to receive such power." In his Homily xix.. 


2, on Acts 8:31-40, he takes it for granted that fhe 
Ethiopian eunuch was filled with the Spirit after his bap- 
tism. '" And he went, it says, on his way rejoicing. This 
hints, that he would have been grieved (at the taking away 
of Philip), had he known; for the greatness of his joy, 
haying had the Spirit also vouchsafed to him, he did not 
even see things present. " In his Commentary, on He- 
brews, 6:19 2, Chrysostom, speaking concerning the six 
foundation principles of the Gospel mentioned in those 
verses, says: ''All these are fundamental articles; that is, 
that we ought to repent from dead works, to be baptized 
into the faith of Christ, and be made worthy of the gift 
of the Spirit, Who is given by imposition of hands, and 
we are to be taught the mysteries of the resurrection and 
eternal judgment.'' 

The great St. Jerome, writing about A. D. 275, in his 
Disputation Against the Luciferians, represents a Luci- 
f erian asking why he that is baptized in the Church does not 
receive the Holy Spirit but by imposition of the bishop's 
hands. The answer is, ** This observation for the honor of 
^e priesthood did descend from the Scriptures." Later, he 
says, " If you ask where it is written, it is in the Acts of the 
Apostles." He then goes on to show that if there were no 
Scriptural authority for it, "the consent of the whole 
Christian world in this article ought to prevail as a com- 
mandent." This would indicate that in the time of Jerome 
"the whole Christian world" believed in the laying on of 
the bishops', or elders', hands in prayer for the Holy Spirit. 
It also indicates that this had become so much of a form 
or ceremony that many imagined that God would not give 
the Holy Spirit except through the laying on of hands and 
prayer by the bishops, or elders. The simple New Testa- 
ment form of church government had already grown into 
a great ecclesiastical hierarchy seeking to usurp power over 


both the souls and bodies of men. The Catholic Churdi 
was losing sight of the grand simplicity of God's promises 
to pour His Spirit upon every hungry, thirsty believer. 
In New Testament times the elders, or church officers, usu- 
ally prayed for persons to be filled with the Spirit, because 
the most spiritual men were selected for church officers. 
But that God never meant to confine this authority, or 
privilege, to any individuals or class of individuals is 
proved by His promise, "Ask, and it shall be given you; 
seek, and ye shall find ; knock, and it shall be opened unto 
you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that 
seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be 
opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a 
father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will 
he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an 
^g, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, 
know how to give good gifts unto your children, how 
much more shall your heavenly Fiather give the Holy Spirit 
to them that ask him" (Luke 11:9-13). 

The celebrated St. Cyril, writing in the fourth century, 
!n his Catechetical Lectures, Hi., Section 21, speaking con- 
cerning Jesus, says : " When He truly was baptized in the 
river of Jordan, He ascended out of the waters, and the 
Holy Spirit substantially descended upon Him, like resting 
upon like. And to you also in like manner, after ye have 
ascended from the waters of baptism, the unction is given, 
which bears the image or similitude of Him by Whom 
Christ was anointed ; that as Christ after baptism and the 
coming of the Holy Spirit upon Him went forth to battle 
and overcome the adversary ; so ye also, after holy baptism 
and the mystical unction, being vested with the armor of 
the Holy Spirit, are enabled to stand against the opposite 
powers." In the same lecture. Section ii., Cyril describes 
how the church of his day anointed the baptized with oil 


before praying for them to receive the Holy Ghost, and he 
also explains the meaning of the ceremony. " They were 
first anointed in the forehead/' says he, ''to wipe away 
that shame which the first man, by his transgression had 
contracted; and that they might now, with open face be- 
hold the glory of the Lord. Then they were anointed on 
the ears, that they might have ears to h^r the divine mys- 
teries. After that, on the nose and heart ; that they might 
be a sweet savor unto the Lord ; and being armed with the 
breastplate of righteousness, might be able to stand all 
the insults of the devil." In Bible times the anointing with 
oil seems usually to have been the pouring or placing of a 
little oil on the head, or forehead; but in Old Testament 
times the Uood of the consecration offering was applied to 
the right ear, thumb, and great toe of the high priest to 
symbolize his entire consecration (Lev. 8: 24). The church 
of Cyril's day seems to have had a much more elaborate 
ceremony with the anointing oil to symbolize what the ^ 
Holy Spirit would do for those in whom He came to dwell. 

St Hilary, writing in the fourth century, speaking con- 
cerning Christ receiving the anointing of the Spirit after 
His baptism, says: ''The Father's voice was heard, that 
from those things which were consummated in Christ we 
might know that after the baptism of water the Holy 
Spirit from the gates of heaven flies unto us; and that 
we are to be anointed with the unction of a celestial glory, 
and be made the sons of God by the adoption of the voice 
of God, the truth by the very effects of things prefigured 
unto us the similitude of a sacrament." 

St. Augustine, the most celebrated of all the early 
Christian writers, writing about A. D. 380, in his work 
Against the Donatists, Book ii., Chapter 6, says: ''At the 
first times the Holy Spirit fell upon the believers, and 
th^ spake with tongues which they had not learned, ac- 


cording as the Spirit gave them utterance. They were 
signs fitted to the seasons; for so the Holy Spirit ought 
to have signified in all tongues, because the gospel of God 
was to run through all the nations and languages of the 
world; so it was signified, and so it passed through. But 
is it expected that they upon whom there is imposition of 
hands that they might receive the Holy Spirit that they 
should speak with tongues?" In his book on The Trinity, 
Book XV., Chapter xxvi., Augustine says : " In propriety 
of speech, neither the apostles or any other man, but Christ 
alone, as He is God, could give the Holy Ghost; for the 
apostles only laid hands on men, that the Holy Ghost by 
their prayers might descend upon them; which custom 
the church now observed and practised by her bishops and 
governors also." Commenting on John 6, and speaking 
concerning the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus, Augus- 
tine says: "The dove in Christ's baptism did represent 
% and prefigure our unction that is the Holy Spirit coming 
upon us after baptism." In his work On Baptism, Book 
iii.. Chapter xvi., he says : " For by the Holy Spirit, which 
is given only in the Catholic Church by imposition of 
hands, our forefathers would have us to understand that 
which the apostle says, 'The love of God is shed abroad 
in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.' " 
In Sermon XLIX., on Luke vii., Augustine takes it for 
granted that the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8) received the 
Holy Spirit after his baptism. After speaking about Peter 
and John pra3ring for the Samaritan disciples to be filled 
with the Spirit, he refers to the case of the Ethiopian 
eunuch, and says: ''When the mystery of the sacrament 
of baptism had been accomplished, that the gift of the 
Holy Ghost might not be thought to be of men, there was 
no waiting, as in the other case, for the apostles to come, 
Ibut the Holy Ghost came forthwith." In Sermon XXI^ 


on The Blasphemy Agamst the Holy Ghost, Augustine ex- 
plains Acts 2 : 37, 38, as follows : '' And Peter said to them, 
Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of 
Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive 
the gift of the Holy Ghost, In the Church truly in which 
was Uie Holy Ghost, were tx)th brought to pass, that is, 
both the remission of sins, and the receiving of the gift/' 
This is indisputable evidence that the Church of the fourth 
century believed in both the remission of sins and the gift 
of the Holy Spirit Augustine himself seems to have felt 
that the Holy Spirit was leading and directing him. In 
the sernxMi above referred to, on The Blasphemy Against 
the Holy Ghost, he says: "' I did not think I could do jus- 
tice to that understanding of it (his subject) which was 
in some dqpree opened to me, by words suggested at the 
moment. But as I listened to today's lesson, upon which 
it was my duty to discourse to you, as the Gospel was be- 
ing read, there was such a beating at my heart, that I be- 
lieved it was God's will that you should hear something 
of the subject by my ministry." 

Padanus, Bishop of Barcelona, who died about A. D. 
390, writing on Baptism, says : ** In baptism our sins are 
deansed, in confirmation the Spirit is poured upon us ; anr^ 
both these are obtained by the hands and mouth of the 

Asterius, Bishop of Amasea, about A. D. 400, compares 
die gift of the Holy Ghost, through the laying on of 
hands after baptism, to the ring which the father put on 
the finger of the prodigal after his return. 

Theodoret, in the fifth century, commenting on Can- 
tides i. 2, says : ** Remember that holy mystagogy, in which 
thqr who were initiated, after the renouncing that tyrant 
(the devil) and the confession of the true King, have re- 
ceived the dirism of spiritual unction like a royal sig- 


nature, by that unction/ as in a shadow, perceiving ffie uh 
visible grace of the most Holy Spirit/' 

Pope Leo the Great, about A. D. 460, in Epistle Ixxix., 
Chapter 7, writing to Nicetas, Bishop of Aquileia, com- 
mands that heretics returning to the church should have 
hands laid on them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 
for, says he, " they have only received the form of baptism 
without the virtue of sanctification." 

Lucherius Lugdenenses, also writing in the fifth cen- 
tury, says : ** The same thing that is done now in the im- 
position of hands on individual persons, is no other than 
that which was done upon all believers in the descent of 
the Holy Spirit; it is the same ministry, and all derived 
from the same authority." 

In the writings usually attributed to Dicmyisius the 
Aeropagite, and probably written about A. D. 600, in The 
Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, Chapter ii., there is a description 
of how prayer was offered for the baptized, that they might 
receive the Holy Spirit ''Then (after baptism) they 
bring them again to the bishop, and he consigns them with 
the most divinely operating unction/' Further on we 
read: ''But even to him who is consecrated in the most 
holy mystery of regeneration the perfective uncticm of 
chrisn? gives him the advent of the Holy Spirit'' The 
learned Church of England bishop, Jeremy Taylor, in his 
" Discourse on Confirmation," explains how the imposition 
of hands in prayer for the Holy Spirit came to be known 
as " the sacrament of chrism/' which is the term used in 
the writings just quoted. He says : " It was very early in 
the diurch that to represent the grace which was min- 
istered in confirmation, the unction from above, they used 
oil and balsam, and so constantly used this in their con- 
firmation that from the ceremony it had the appellation: 
sacramentum chrismatis (the sacrament of anointing)/' 


Pope Innocent III., in the twelfth century, in ConsHfu* 
tional Decrees, Book i., Chapter 83, thus explains the mean- 
ing of the anointing with oil in confirmation: " By anoint- 
ing the forehead the imposition of hands is designed, be- 
cause by that the Holy Spirit is given for increase and 
strength/' Rabanus Maurus, writing about 800 A. D., 
says: ''In baptism the baptized was anointed on the top 
of the heady in confirmation on the forehead; by that was 
signified that the Holy Ghost was preparing a habitation 
for Himself; by this was declared the descent of the Holy 
Spirit with His seven- fold gifts with all fulness of knowl- 
edge and spiritual understanding" (see Maurus' Clerical 
Institutes, Book i., Chapter 30). In the time of Maurus, 
when the Roman Catholic Church had almost reached the 
summit of its ritualism and ceremonialism, a double 
anointing with oil was practised. As Maurus explains, 
the baptized were anointed with oil on top of the head in 
baptism, to signify that the Holy Spirit was preparing 
Himself a dwelling place within them. In confirmation 
they were anointed on the forehead, to signify that the 
Holy Spirit was coming in with His gifts and power. At 
the present time both the Roman Catholic and Greek 
Churches anoint with oil before confirmation, or prayer 
for the Holy Spirit. They anoint the person to be 
prayed for on the forehead, and give them a slight blow 
on the cheek to signify that henceforth they will be more 
able to suffer for Christ. 

John of Damascus, about A. D. 700, in his work on 
The Orthodox Faith, Book iv.. Chapter 10, mentions the 
in-coming of the Holy Spirit. He says : " He (the Lord) 
makes us His anointed ones, and by His Spirit He declares 
His eternal mercy towards us." 

Amalarius, in the ninth century, in his work on The 
Offices of the Church, Book i., Chapter 2y, affirms that 


Pope Sylvester, " forseeing how dangerous a joum^ he 
takes who abides without confirmation, brought remedy as 
far as he could and commanded that in the absence of 
bishops they should be anointed by the priest*'' He then 
goes on to explain how the custom of laying on of hands 
in prayer for the Holy Spirit was derived from the apostles 

CEcumenius, in the tenth century, commenting on He- 
brews vi., 2, calls the laying on of hands for the Holy 
Spirit "perfection" (telioteta). No doubt this was be- 
cause the Holy Spirit was given " for the perfecting of 
the saints" (Eph. 4:12). 

We have traced the doctrine of the filling of the Holy 
Spirit through the first thousand years of the history of 
the Christian church, by means of the testimony of her 
great writers. Many volumes might be filled with the testi- 
mony of later writers on the same subject, but space will 
not permit. Accounts might be given of the confirmation 
of Constantine the Great, of Pepin, of William, Earl of 
Surrey, and of many other famous persons, who were 
prayed for that they might receive the Holy Spirit ; but we 
will close this chapter with an account of the decisions 
of some of the more important church councils concern- 
ing prayer for the Holy Spirit. 



THE COUNCIL OF ELVIRA, in the fourth centttiy. 
Canon 38, decreed concerning anyone baptized in time of 
sickness, if he should recover: ''Let him be brought to 
the bishop that he may be perfected by the imposition of 
hands." The 77th Canon of the same Council says : " The 
bishop must per^fect those (who have been baptized) by 
his benediction." 


THE COUNCIL OF LAODICEA, in the fourth cen- 
tury, in Canon 48, decreed: "All that are baptized must 
be anointed with the celestial unction, and be partakers of 
the kingdom of Christ." 

creed concerning the Arians, that they were not to be re- 
bsqytized if they had been baptized in the name of the 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; but ""Let them be con- 
firmed, let there be imposition of hands that they may re- 
ceive the Holy Spirit." The Second Council of Aries, A. 
D- 353» made a similar decree concerning Bonosiaci. 

OPLE, A. D. 381, in Canon vii., explained how the church 
received heretics, after anointing them with oil '' as a seal 
of the gift of the Holy Ghost." 

THE COUNCIL OF ORLEANS, in the sixth cen- 
tury affirmed that he who was baptized could not be a 
Christian, doubtless meaning a mature Christian, '"unless 
he have the unction of episcopal confirmation." 

In a late SYNOD OF SOURCES, curates were com- 
manded to threaten all who were not confirmed, that they 
should not be allowed to partake of the Lord's supper or 
to marry. 

THE SYNOD OF PARIS declared concerning con- 
firmation, ** If there be an opportunity it must not be neg- 

THE SYNOD OF SENS said concerning the attitude 
of Christians toward confirmation: '"They are bound to 
receive it, or at least not to despise it." 

The ancient ritual known as THE ORDO ROMANUS, 
probably belonging to the fifth century, says: ''We must 
by all means take heed that the rite of confirmation be not 
neglected, because in that every true baptism is ratified and 


longing to a period about the third century, in Book vii., 
Chapter 22, prescribe concerning the bishop or presbyter, 
after baptizing the convert, " last of all> thou shalt sign 
him with the holy chrism;" which means, with the anoint- 
ing oil, as a symbol of the filling of the Spirit. 

314, and the COUNCIL OF ELVIRA, about A. D. 300, 
both had canons which forbade the offices of a minister to 
those who had not received the Holy Spirit by imposition 
of hands. 

THE SYNOD OF RHEMES, while admitting that a 
person might be a Christian without confirmation, said, 
'* Yet he receives more strength and grace for sustaining 
and overcoming the temptations of the flesh, the world, 
and the devil, only by the imposition of the bishop's 

The laws of the Church of England in King Edgar's 
time, about 967 A. D., Chapter 15, commanded " that none 
should too long put off his being confirmed by the bishop." 


We have given abundant evidence to convince any 
reasonable person that both the Eastern and Western 
Churches, from apostolic times to the present, have prayed 
for converts to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; although 
the prayer has often been in a ritualistic, formalistic, and 
purely ceremonial way. The ceremony of laying on of 
hands in prayer for the Holy Spirit has been maintained 
through all the centuries of the Christian era by the East- 
cm churches and sects, and by the Roman Catholic church 
and the early sects in the West. It was a quarrel con- 
cerning the anointing oil used in this ceremony which led 
to the division of the Catholic Churgh into the Eastern 


Church and Western Church, which are now known as 
the Greek Church and the Roman Catholic. For a long 
period the Greeks obtained anointing oil blessed by the 
bishop of Rome, who on account of Rome being the lead- 
ing city of the world was rapidly coming to be recognized 
as the pope, or father, of all the churches. But when the 
Latins demanded four-score pounds of gold and some other 
gifts in exchange for the anointing oil, the Greeks rejected 
the authority of the bishop of Rome, and began to con- 
secrate their own oil, and since that time the two great 
churches have remained separate. 

When infant baptism became common in the church, 
infant confirmation and infant communion also became 
common. In the time of St. Augustine infants received 
both confirmation and communion after baptism. But they 
often vomited the wine and bread of the communion, which 
were forced into their mouths, and this led the Roman 
Catholic Church to stop the practise of infant communion, 
although it is still the rule and practise of the Greek 
Church. Both the Greek and Roman Catholic Churches 
decided that it would be better not to continue the prac- 
tise of confirming little infants, and both those great 
churches now wait until children have reached the age of 
accountability before confirming them. , 

The Protestant Churches, formed during and since the 
great Protestant Reformation, are divided with regard to 
the practise of confirmation. The Lutheran and Church of 
England retained the practise, while most of the other 
Protestant churches rejected it as an empty form, or cere- 
mony, and adopted nothing in its place. Calvin, the great 
reformer, acknowledged that the custom of praying for 
converts to be filled with the Spirit was derived from the 
s^stles, and that the Protestant churches ought to have 
something in the place of it, and yet he seems to have 


made but little effort to impress the need of it upon the 
churches with which he had a greater influence than had 
any other man. In his Commentaries, commenting on He- 
brews vi. 2, he says, with regard to the laying on of hands 
in prayer for the Holy Spirit: "This one passage abun- 
dantly testifies that this rite had its banning from the 
Apostles, which afterwards, however, was turned into 
superstition, as the world almost always degenerates into 
corruptions. . . . Wherefore the pure institution at 
this day ought to be retained, but the superstition ought to 
be removed." The Quietist movement in the Roman 
Catholic Church, which centered around the great French* 
woman, Madam Guyon, and the Quaker movement among 
Protestants, were two great and sincere efforts to make the 
Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches feel the need of 
being filled with the Spirit and led by the Spirit. Both these 
great spiritual movements have had a tremendous influ- 
ence for good in deepening the spiritual life of the churches. 
Although a firm believer in the outward ordinances of bap- 
tism and the Lord's supper, the writer cannot but believe 
that the Lord raised up the Quakers to call the churches 
away from dependence on outward forms and ceremonies, 
and to emphasize the thought that ** The kingdom of God 
is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and 
joy in the Holy Ghost " (Rom. 14: 17). After the Quaker, 
or Friends' movement, came the great Methodist move- 
ment. Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, 
made a great effort to restore the Bible doctrine of prayer 
for the Holy Spirit under the name of sanctification. At 
one time during the life of Wesley, or so he states in his 
Journals, almost as many people were seeking and claim* 
ing entire sanctification as were claiming salvation in con- 
nection with the meetings of the Methodist societies. 

GiROLAMo Savonarola 


Girolatno Savonarola, of Italy, was one of the greatest 
reformers^ preachersi prophets, politicians^ and philoso- 
pers the world has ever known* His public career as a 
preadier bq;an the same year that Luther was bom ; and if 
the sail of Italy had been as congenial as that of Germany 
to a Protestant Reformation, he instead of Luther might 
have been the instrument in bringing about that reforma- 
tioa« As it was, Savonarola was the precursor of the 
Protestant Reformation. By his terrific denunciation of 
the corruptions of the Roman Catholic Church, he pre- 
pared all Europe for the Reformation. His life and teach- 
ings had a great influence upon Luther, who acknowledged 
his inddl>tedness to him, and spoke of him as '* a Protestant 
martyr.'' Not only was Savonarola the herald of the com- 
ing refmtnation, but he did more than any other man to 
rescue mankind from the abyss of skepticism and corrup- 
tion into which the world had been plunged by the ex- 
ample of the most degraded and dissolute church which 
ever bore the name of Christian. Great as her sins and 
crimes have been, never before the days of the Spanish 
Inquisition was the Roman Catholic Church so utterly vile 
and corrupt as in the fifteenth century, when those mon- 
strous criminals the Borgias reigned as popes and cardinals. 
By his powerful preaching, his profound philosophy, and 
by the Divine unction resting upon him, Savonarola con^ 
vinced the masses that religion was not all sham and for- 



malism, and a new day dawned for Qiristianity and for 
the world. 

Bom in Ferrara, Italy, September 14, 1452, Savonarola 
was the third in a family of seven children — ^five sons and 
two daughters. His parents were cultured but worldly 
people, of moderate circumstances but having great influ- 
ence at the court of the Duke of Ferrara. His paternal 
grandfather, who had the training of Girolamo during his 
earlier years, was an eminent physician at the court of the 
Duke, and Girolamo's parents intended him to follow the 
same profession and to become his grandfather's successor. 
But God had chosen another calling for the youth. From 
his infancy Girolamo had been quiet and retiring. As a 
child he was neither pretty nor playful, but serious and 
subdued. At an early age he became a very diligent stu- 
dent, and he afterwards attained great proficiency in the 
liberal arts and in philosophy. He was an earnest student 
of Aristotle but the writings of the great Greek philosopher 
left the deepest longings of his soul unsatisfied. The phil« 
osophy of Plato gave him a little more satisfaction; but it 
was not until he began to study the writings of the great 
Christian philosopher Saint Thomas Aquinas that he found 
real food for his soul. It was doubtless the writings of 
that celebrated saint which led Savonarola, at a very early 
age, to yield his whole heart and life to God; and the 
writings of St. Thomas Aquinas probably continued to in- 
fluence his life more than any other writings except the 
Scriptures. He says concerning his visions, " They came 
to me in earliest youth, but it was only at Brescia that I 
began to proclaim them. Thence was I sent by the Lord 
to Florence, which is in the heart of Italy, in order that 
the reform of Italy might begin." As a boy his devotion 
and fervor increased as he grew older, and he spent many 
hours in prayer and fasting. He would kneel in church 


for hours at a time engaged in prayer. He was very con- 
templative, and his soul was deeply stirred by the vice and 
worldliness he saw on every hand. The luxury, splendor, 
and wealth displayed by the rich and the awful poverty of 
the poor weighed heavily on his heart. Italy was the prey 
of petty tyrants and wicked priests, and dukes and popes 
vied with each other in lewdness, lavishness, and cruelty. 
These things brought great sorrow to his young soul whidi 
was burning for virtue and truth. Some of the rough im- 
passioned verses of his youth show how deeply bis soul 
was stirred by the evils he saw all around him. Thus, in 
one of his earliest poems, he speaks of, 

" Seeing the whole world overset ; 

All virtue and goodness disappeared; 

Nowhere ? shining light; 

No one taking shame for his sins." 
This profound appreciation of the evils around him made 
Savonarola a sad and sorrowful youth. He talked little, 
and kept himself retired and solitary. He loved to be in 
lonely places, in the open fields, or along the green banks 
of the river Po, and there wandering, sometimes singing, 
sometimes weeping, he gave utterance to the strong emo- 
tions which boiled in his breast. His great soulful eyes 
were resplendent, and the color of the heavens, but they 
were often filled with tears. Prayer was his one great 
solace, and his tears would often bedew the altar steps, 
where stretched prostrate for hours at a time, he be- 
sought aid from heaven against the vile, corrupt, and dis- 
solute age. At one time, in the midst of his deep musings, 
there came a brief period, so the historians say, when he 
fell in love with a young Florentine maiden, and began to 
take a more cheerful view of things in general; but the 
affair ended in the maiden scornfully rejecting him, because 
she belonged to the proud Strozzi family and considered 


that Savonarola's family was not exalted enough to mate 
with hers. He resented her arrogance and sought her hand 
no more. After this little episode of happy delusion, when 
the magical mist and glamour of love almost blinded him 
for a time to the evils around him, the mists were dispelled 
and Savonarola again saw clearly the corruption abounding 
on every hand. Religious desires again took complete pos- 
session of his soul, and his prayers were uttered with daily 
increasing fervor. Disgusted with the world, disappointed 
in his personal hopes, finding no one to S}rmpathize with 
his feelings, and weary with the sight of constant wrongs 
and evils which he could not remedy, he decided to enter 
the monastic life. 

It was on April 24, 1475, while his relatives were all 
away celebrating the festival of St George, that Girolamo 
stole away across the sunny plain to Bolonga, and applied 
for admittance to the Dominican convent. The fact that 
his favorite writer, St. Thomas Aquinas, was a Dominican, 
probably influenced him to enter that order. He did not 
ask to become a monk, but only to be a drudge and to do 
the most menial services in the kitchen, garden, and mon- 
astery. He was accepted, and. as soon as he reached his 
cell he wrote an affectionate letter to his home explaining 
why he entered the monastery, and begging his parents to 
forgive him and give him tiieir blessing. He had left be- 
hind him at home a paper entitled ''Contempt of the 
World," in which he described the condition of things as 
similar to that of Sodom and Gomorrah. Even at this time 
he seems to have had a presentiment that some day God 
would use him mightily in calling men to repentance. 

In the monastery of St. Dominic Savonarola fasted and 
prayed, and led a silent life, and became increasingly ab- 
sorbed in spiritual contemplation. His modesty, humility, 
and obedience surpassed that of all the others. Soon after 


he entered the monastery he was made lecturer on phil- 
osophy to the convent, which position he held during the 
remainder of the years that he spent there. During this 
time his fury and indignation against the sins of the Church 
increased so much that he longed to denounce them, and 
did so in a poem on ''The Ruin of the Church." 

In 1481, after spending seven years in the monastery 
at Bolonga, Fra (Brother) Girolamo went to the convent 
of St. Mark's in Florence, the most beautiful and cultured 
dty in Italy, and the city where he was to become famous. 
The modem world was then just coming into being, and 
found its best expression in the great Italian Renaissance 
of which the De Medici, who ruled Florence, were the 
principal patrons. The Renaissance, or revival of learning, 
had affected Florence more than any other dty. The De 
Media had done much to make it a learned and cultured 
dty, and most of the people knew Greek and Latin and 
could read the dassics. Savonarola had high ideas concern- 
ing the culture and refinement of Florence, and expected 
to find the Florentines leading purer and nobler lives than 
those of other cities; but his hopes were doomed to dis- 
appointment. He had yet to learn that only faith in God 
will save people from sin. Florence was indeed beautiful 
outwardly, situated as it was in the midst of a rich and 
verdant valley blossoming with flowers. But Savonarola 
soon found that beneath their veneer of learning the people 
were utterly corrupt, and that they were given over to 
shows, festivals, worldly display, and entertainments. They 
were dissolute, sdfish, pleasure-loving, and had but little 
thought about God or spiritual things. 

Next year after entering the convent of St Mark's, in 
Florence, Savonarola was made instructor of the novices, 
and he was finally raised to the rank of preacher in the 
monastery. Although the monastery had a splendid library. 


Savonarola came more and more to use the Bible as his 
text-book. He was filled with a sense of approaching judg- 
ment, terror, and the vengeance of God ; and when he was 
sent to preach in the neighboring towns he sometimes gave 
vent to these feelings. In Brescia, San Geminiano, and 
Florence he thundered frcrni the pulpit a thousand woes 
against the wicked, but his sermons made scarcely any im- 
pression. The cultured people of Florence took little heed 
of the Lcxnbard monk, whose accents were harsh and his 
periods not daintly formed. In the Church of San Lor- 
enzo, where Savonarola first preached in Florence, there 
were not twenty-five people in the audience. He made a 
somewhat deeper impression in the remote villages and 
towns. His preaching had so little effect, however, he de- 
cided to give up preaching and to confine himself to teach- 
ing the novices ; but as God called Moses from the desert 
where he had retired to feed sheep, so He called Savonarola 
from •the monastery to preach. 

In 1482 Savonarola was sent to Reggio d' Emilia, to 
represent his convent in a Dominican chapter-general held 
in that place. During the first day, while the monks were 
discussing dogma, he remained silent. But on the second 
day, when a question of discipline was brought up, he arose 
and in powerful accents inveighed against the sins and cor- 
ruption of the church and the clergy. His soul was at 
white heat, and he spoke with an eloquence which made 
a deep impression. Returning to Florence, he found it 
impossible to refrain from preaching, and he began to de- 
liver sermons at the little church of the Murate convent. 
His sermons, however, still made but little impression on 
the pleasure-loving Florentines. Fra Mariano, an Augus- 
tinian monk, was preaching to immense crowds in the Great 
Church of Santo Spirito, and the people preferred him to 
Savonarola. He never rebuked them for their sins; but 


entertained them with classical quotations, philosophy, 
astronomy, and poetry; and the whole city was flocking to 
hear him. This only strengthened the resolve of Savon- 
arola to denounce the sins and vices of the age. '* These 
verbal el^[ancies and ornaments will have to give way to 
sound doctrine simply preached/' said he. In prayer and 
meditation he waited upon God, and yearned for a direct 
revelation from Him, and it was vouchsafed to him. One 
day, while engaged in conversation with a nun, he suddenly 
beheld in a vision the heavens opened, and all the future 
calamities of the Church passed before his eyes; and he 
seemed to hear a voice charging him to announce them to 
the people. From that moment he was convinced of his 
Divine mission, and was filled with a new unction and 
power. His preaching was now with a voice of thunder, 
and his denunciation of sin so terrific that the people who 
listened to him sometimes went about the streets half -dazed, 
bewildered, and speechless. His congregations were often 
in tears, so that the whole church resounded with their sobs 
and weeping. Men and women of every age and condition, 
workmen, poets, philosophers, would burst into passionate 
tears. Pico della Mirandola tells of a sermon of Savon- 
arola's which '' made a cold shiver run down his back, and 
made his hair stand on end." Savonarola's ardour for 
prayer, his faith, and his devotion increased day by day. 
His companion, Fra Sebastiano, of Brescia, says that 
Savonarola, when engaged in prayer, frequently fell into a 
trance, and was sometimes so transported by holy fervor 
that he was obliged to retire to some solitary place. Some 
of his biographers relate that on Christmas Eve, in the 
year i486, Savonarola, while seated in the pulpit, re- 
mained immovable for five hours, in an ecstasy, or trance, 
and that his face seemed illuminated to all in the church, 
and that this occurred several times afterward. Savonarola 


told his friend and biographer, the younger Pico delta 
Mirandola, that on one occasion while meditating on the 
text, " Blessed art Thou, O Lord ; teach me Thy statutes," 
he felt his mind illuminated, and all doubts left him, and 
he felt more certainty of the things that were shown him 
than a philosopher did of first principles. 

In 1484 Savonarola was sent as Lenten preacher to the 
little republic of San Gimignano. Here he preached with 
such power that he returned to Florence with greater con- 
fidence in his mission. He retained his post of lecturer to 
the novices of St. Mark's until Lent of i486, when he was 
sent to preach in various cities of Lombardy, especially in 
Brescia. Everywhere he went his denunciations of sin 
awakened much alarm, and his fame continued to spread 
over Italy. He remained in Lombardy until January, 1489. 
In a letter to his mother, describing his meetings in Lom- 
bardy, he says : '' When I have to depart, men and women 
shed tears, and hold my words in much esteem." In 1489 
he returned to Florence, the Lord revealing to him that 
great things awaited him there. He began to explain the 
book of Revelation to the friars, in the garden of St 
Mark's convent. But his fame had spread through Flor- 
ence; and la}rmen begged for admittance to his lectures. 
His congregations increased daily until he had to preach 
from the pulpit of the church. The church was thronged 
for the first service, and many stood or clung to the iron 
gratings in order to see and hear the preacher. The voice 
of Savonarola seemed to have an almost superhuman ef- 
fect, and the audience was raised to a transport of ecstasy. 
After that service all Florence spoke of Savonarola, and 
even the most learned flocked to hear him. By Lent of 
1491 San Marco Church had become too small to hold the 
people, and Savonarola removed to the famous Duomo, 
or cathedral church of Florence, where he remained dur- 
iE^ titc remainder of the eight years which was the Umst, 


ms he predicted it would be, of his preaching in Florence. 
The people were so anxious to hear him that they arose in 
the middle of the nig^t, and waited for hours for the cathe- 
dral doors to open. They came along the streets singing 
and rejoicing and listened to the sermons with such in- 
terest that when they were finished the people thought that 
they had scarcely b^;un. Savonarola seemed to be swq»t 
cmwards by a mi^t not his own, and carried his audiences 
with him. Soon all Florence was at the feet of the great 
preacher; and Lorenzo de Medici, the corrupt ruler of the 
dty, was greatly alarmed. He tried by flattery and bribery, 
by Areats and persuasion, to induce Savonarola to cease 
denoondng the sins of the people, and especially his own 
sins. But Savonarola continued his fearless preaching. 
Then Lorenzo hired Fra Mariano, the once popular 
preacher, to denounce Savonarola; but his eloquence and 
liietoric had no effect on the people, and after preaching 
one sermon against Savonarola he ceased his opposition. 

When Lorenzo was opposing Savonarola, the fearless 
preadier predicted that Lorenzo, the Pope, and the King of 
Naples would all die within a year, and so it came to pass. 
As Lorenzo de Medici lay dying, he thought of the wrongs 
he had done, and he was in an agony to obtain pardon. 
He did not look to his own priestly parasites or to Fra 
Mariano for consolation ; but sent for Savonanda, the only 
preadier who had dared to oppose him. Savonarola said 
to the messenger, ''I am not the person he wants; we 
should not agree ; and it is not expedient that I should go 
to him.'* Lorenzo sent the messenger back, promising to 
do everything that Savonarola required of him. Savon- 
arola then went to the beautiful villa of Carregi, amid the 
olive gardens, where Lorenzo lay dying. He was led into 
the side chamber. ''Father," said Lorenzo, ''there are 
three things whidi drag me back and throw me into despair. 


and I know not if God will ever pardon me for them,^ 
These were the sack of Volterra, the robbery of the Monte 
della FanciuUe, and the massacre of the Pazzi. Savonarola 
replied, " Lorenzo, be not desponding, for God is merciful 
and will be merciful to you, if you will do three things I 
will tell you." " What are these three things? " asked Lor- 
enzo. '' The first is that you should have a great and liv- 
ing faith that God can and will pardon you," replied Savon- 
arola. "This is a great thing, and I do believe it," said 
Lorenzo. " It is also necessary that everything wrongfully 
acquired should be given back by you, in so far as you can 
do this and still leave to your children as much as will 
maintain them as private citizens," continued Savonarola. 
These words drove Lorenzo nearly beside himself, but he 
finally said, " This also will I do." Savonarola then said, 
** Lastly, it is necessary that f reedcmi, and popular gov- 
ernment according to her republican usage, should be re- 
stored to Florence." At this Lorenzo turned his back to 
the wall and was silent ; and Savonarola went away without 
absolving him. 

A year and a half after Lorenzo's death, Charles VIIL, 
King of France, invaded Italy, sacked Naples, and then ad- 
vanced on Florence. Savonarola had long predicted that 
God would send "a new Cyrus from across the Alps" 
to punish the people for their sins, and in their extremity 
the people flocked to the Duomo to hear what Savonarola 
would say. He urged them to repent of their sins, and 
went himself to meet the French king and to entreat him 
to spare Florence. This Charles did very reluctantly, after 
remaining for some time, and after Savonarola warned him 
to leave Florence if he did not wish to incur the vengeance 
of God. For some time the people of Florence debated 
as to what kind of government they should adopt in the 
place of that of the De Medici, which was overturned dur- 


ing the French invasion. They could come to no agree- 
ment, and then Savonarola deemed it necessary to advise 
them in his sermons. Through his advice they adopted 
one of the most advanced and enlightened forms of demo- 
cratic, or republican, government. A just form of taxa- 
tion, abolition of torture, laws against usury and gambling, 
a court of appeal, and abundant provision for the poor, 
were some of the principal features. The laws and gov- 
ernment of the Rorentine republic have served as a model 
to all nations, and have had a mighty influence in shaping 
the modem world. 

The influence of Savonarola in Florence and Italy was 
now greater than ever. The people of Florence abandoned 
their vile and worldly books, and read Savonarola's ser- 
mons. All prayed, went to church, and the rich gave freely 
to the poor. Merchants restored ill-gotten gains amounting 
to many florins. Even the hoodlums, or street gamins, 
stopped singing ribald songs, and sang h3rmns instead. All 
the people forsook the carnivals and vanities in which they 
had indulged, and made huge bonfires of their masks, wigs, 
worldly books, obscene pictures, and other things of the 
kind. The children marched from house to house in pro- 
cession, singing hymns, and collecting everything they 
styled vanities. With these a great octangular pyramid 
was built in the public square, or piazza. It was formed 
in sevcw stages, and was 60 feet high and 240 feet in cir- 
cumference at the base. A bonfire was made of this amidst 
the singing of hymns and pealing of bells. This was in 


But the triumph of Savonarola was short. During his 

first sermon in Florence, he predicted that' he would only 
preach there eight years. He also foretold his own martyr- 
dom. Although people from all over Italy flocked to Flor^- 
ence to hear him, until the great Duomo itself would not 


hold the crowds, his fearless sermons aroused the anger 
of many, and especially of the corrupt pope, cardinals, 
and priests. He was threatened, excommunicated, and 
persecuted ; and finally, in 1498, by express order of Alex- 
ander VI., one of the vilest of popes, he was burned to 
death in the public square of Florence, the city he loved 
so well. His last words were, "The Lord hath suffered 
so much for me." Thus perished one of the world's great- 
est saints and martyrs. His sermons and books on "Hu- 
mility," "Pra)rer," "Love," and other devotional subjects 
have continued to exert a very wide influence in the world. 
Although he held to many of the superstitions of the Roman 
Catholic Church, he was far in advance of the people of 
his day, and he may almost be r^;arded as the first g^eat 
Protestant reformer. He taught that all believers were in 
the true church, and he continually fed upon the Word of 
God. The margin of his Bible is covered with notes of 
ideas which occurred to him while poring over its pages. 
His sermons are often expositions of the Scriptures from 
b^^ning to end, and it was claimed that there was not a 
text to which he could not turn at a moment's notice. He 
knew a great portion of the Bible by heart. He spent 
whole nights in prayer, and while wrapped in a species of 
ecstasy real visions and revelations seem to have been 
vouchsafed to him. He foretold many important events, 
and all his biographers have marvelled at the accuracy of 
his prophecies. 

In appearance .Savonarola was of medium height, of 
dark complexion, and had a high forehead, an aquiline 
nose, thick lips, and a large mouth. When preaching a 
Divine light seemed to beam from his eyes and to illuminate 
his face, his words flowed like a torrent, and he had a 
voice like thunder. He was very fond of children. 


MM>Ai« GvivoK 


Madam Guyon (pronounced Gay-yo), the celebrated 
French Mystic, was one of the greatest Christian leaders 
of all time. What Savonarola was to Italy » Madam Guyon 
was to France. And not only was her influence felt 
throughout her native land of France, but all over Europe, 
and throughout the world. Fenelon, John Wesley, and 
other great spiritual leaders have acknowledge that they 
were greatly indebted to Madam Guyon for the deep spirit- 
ual lessons learned from her life and writings. Although a 
Roman Catholic, Madam Guyon very much resembled the 
modem Quakers, or Friends, in her teachings. She has 
been termed *'A Quaker bom out of due time;" and Dr. 
J. Rendel Harris, one of the most eminent Friends, says, 
" No society has been so influenced by Madam Guyon as 
the Quakers have been." She was the center of the great 
spiritual movement known as " Quietism," which was per- 
haps the greatest spiritual movement ever originated within 
the Roman Catholic Church. In its emphasis of the work 
of the Holy Spirit, the " Quietist " movement very much 
resembled the Quaker movement, and the original Friends 
were often classed as "Quietists" on this account. The 
name ** Quietist" refers to their quiet submission to the 
will of God and to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. 

As a girl Madam Guyon was religiously inclined, but 
as a young woman she became a vain, proud^ society ** but- 
terfly," with few thoughts about God or the world to come. 



Living in fashionable Paris as she was, in the corrupt and 
profligate times of Louis XIV., it was very easy for her 
to be carried away by the worldliness surrounding her. 
The rule of Louis XIV., was perhaps the most pleasure-lov- 
ing, corrupt, and dissolute which ever cursed the sunny land 
of France; and the great talents and beauty of Madam 
Guyon, or Mademoiselle De La Mothe as her maiden name 
was, made her peculiarly susceptible to the influences of 
fashionable society. But her proud heart was gradually 
subdued by the destruction of her beauty through an at- 
tack of small pox and by the loss of ever3rthing that was 
dearest to her in this world. Her vanity and pride were 
completely crushed out, and then she became " a vessel unto 
honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use " (2 Tim. 
2: 21). Perhaps of no other person except Job could it be 
said as truly that they were made " perfect through suffer- 
ings" (Heb. 2: 10), the sufferings of our Divine Saviour 
not being considered as the sufferings of a htmian being. 

Jeanne Marie Bouvieres de la Mothe was bom at Mon- 
targis, France, about fifty miles north of Paris, on April 
13, 1648, about a century after the beginning of the great 
Protestant Reformation. Her parents belonged to the aris- 
tocracy of France, were highly respected, and were relig- 
iously inclined as were their forefathers for many genera- 
tions. Her father bore the title of Seigneur, or Lord, de la 
Mothe Vergonville. In infancy Jeanne was afflicted with 
a complaint which caused her parents to despair of her life. 
She rallied, however, and at the age of two years and a 
half was placed in the Ursuline Seminary in her own town 
to be educated by the nuns. After a short time she wa^ 
taken home, where she remained for some time, but her 
mother left her chiefly to the care of the servants. During 
this period her education was neglected. 


In the year 165 1 the Duchess of Montbason came to 
Montargis to reside with the Benedictine nuns established 
there, and she asked Jeanne's father to allow his little 
daughter, then four years of age, to keep her company. 
While in the House of the Benedictines, thqugh earlier in 
life she had some religious impressions, she was brought to 
realize her need of a Saviour by a dream she had concern- 
ing the future misery of impenitent sinners, and she def- 
initely yielded her heart and life to God, and she even 
vowed her willingness to become a martyr for God. The 
nuns pretended that they thought God really wanted her 
to become a martyr, and made her believe that they were 
going to put her to death. She said her prayers, and then 
they led her to a room prepared for the purpose, and 
caused her to kneel on a doth they had spread. One of 
the older girls then appeared as executioner and raised a 
cutlass over her head. But at this critical moment Jeannie 
cried out that she was not at liberty to die without her 
father's permission. The nuns afterwards told her that 
she was not willing to die for Christ, and that she had made 
an excuse on that account. They made the little girl be- 
lieve that she had denied the Lord, and it brought great 
darkness over her mind. While with the Benedictines she 
was generally treated kindly, but her health was very poor 
and she was again taken to her home, and again left most 
of the time in the care of the servants. Her two half-sis- 
ters had entered the Ursuline Convent, and after she was 
at home for a short period Jeannie returned to the Ursuline 
Convent in order to be with them. She was then seven 
years of age. Her fraternal half-sister took her under her 
special care, and under her instruction Jeanne made rapid 
progress in learning and piety. 

When Jeanne was eight years of age, Henrietta Maria, 
Queen of England, fled to her native land of France to take 


refuge from the Civil War in England. She visited the 

De La Mothe family, and was so diarmed by the learning 

and beauty of little Jeanne that she entreated Lord De La 

Mothe to allow her to take the child with her, promising 

to make her Maid of Honor to the Princess, but Uie father 

would not consent. 

At ten years of age Jeanne was again taken home, but 

in a short time she was placed in the Dominican Convent 

at the request of the prioress, who seemed to have a great 

affection for her. Here she remained eight months, and 

made much improvement, though her health was very poor. 

Here she found a Bible, which in some unknown way 
had been left in her chamiber. Young as she was she 

became deeply absorbed in reading it. ''I spent whole 
days," she says, *' in reading it, giving no attention to other 
books or other subjects from morning to night And hav- 
ing great powers of recollection, I committed to memory 
the historical parts entirely." This study of the Scriptures 
doubtless laid the foundations of her wonderful life of 
devotion and piety. After eight months in the Dominican 
Convent she returned to her home. She purposed to take 
the sacrament at twelve years of age, but for some time 
previous she had been very remiss in her religious duties. 
A feeling of melancholy entered her mind, and she gave up 
what religious profession and practises she had. Later in 
life she intimated that her religion at that time was chiefly 
in appearance, and that the love of God was not at the bot- 
tom of it. Her father again placed her in the Ursuline 
Seminary, and through the influence of her pious and 
prayerful half-sister she was led to think of ''giving her- 
self to God in good earnest." She partook of the sacra- 
ment, but still her heart was not reached. 

She grew tall, and her features b^;an to develop into 
that beauty which afterwards distinguished her. Her 


mother, pkased with her appearance, indulged her in dress. 
The world gained full sway over her, and Christ was al- 
most forgotten. Such changes frequently occurred in her 
eariy experience. Today she had serious thoughts and good 
resolutions, and next day they were shatter^ and gaiety 
and worldliness filled her life. 

A devout young man, a cousin of hers, named De Tossi, 
was going as a missionary to Cochin China, and in passing 
through Montargis called to see the family. His visit was 
short, but it made a deep impression on Jeanne, although 
she was out walking at the time and did not see him. When 
told of his sanctity and consecration, her heart was so 
toudied that she cried all the rest of the day and all night. 
She was touched by the thought of the contrast between 
her own worldly life and the pious life of her cousin. Her 
whcde soul was now aroused to a sense of her true spiritual 
condition. She tried to give up her worldliness, to bring 
herself into a religious frame of mind, and to obtain for- 
giveness of all those whom she had wronged in any way. 
She visited the poor, gave them food and clothing, and 
taught them the catechism, and spent much time in private 
reading and prayer. She read devotional books like the 
Life of Madam de Chantal, and the works of Thomas a 
Kempis and Francis de Sales. She even thought of be- 
coming a nun. But she had not yet learned the lesson of 
finding peace and rest of soul through faith in Christ. Per- 
haps God allowed her to go through many struggles and 
trials to find salvation that she might be the better fitted to 
teach others the way of salvation through faith after she 
herself discovered it. 

After about a year spent in earnest seeking after God, 
she fell deeply in love with a young man, a near relative 
of hers, though she was only fourteen years of age. Her 
mind was so occupied with thoughts of him that she neg- 


lected prayer, and began to seek in him the pleasure she 
had formerly sought in God. She still kept up religious 
appearances, but in her heart religion became a matter of 
indifference. She read romances, spent much time before 
the mirror, and became very vain. The world thought 
highly of her, but her heart was not right with God. 

In the year 1663 the La Mothe family moved to Paris, 
a step not calculated to benefit them spiritually. Paris was 
a gay, worldly, pleasure-loving city, especially in the reign 
of Louis XIV., and Madamoiselle La Mothe's vanity 
swelled and increased, and she and her parents were led 
into worldliness by the society in which they now found 
themselves. The world now seemed to her the one object 
worth conquering and possessing. Her beauty, intellect, and 
brilliant powers of conversation made her a favorite of 
Paris society. Her future husband, M. Jaques Guyon, a 
man of great wealth, and numerous others, sought her hand 
in marriage. 

Although she had no great affection for M. Guyon, her 
father arranged the marriage, and she yielded to his wish* 
The wedding took place in 1664. Jeanne had nearly com- 
pleted her sixteenth year, while her husband was thirty- 
eight. She soon discovered that the home to which he took 
her would be " a house of mourning " to her. Her mother- 
in-law, a woman without education or refinement, governed 
it with a rod of iron. Her husband had good qualities, and 
had considerable affection for her, but physical infirmities 
and sufferings to which he was subject, the great difference 
between his age and that of his young wife, and the temper 
of her mother-in-law, made life a burden to the young bride. 
Her great intellect and sensibilities made her sufferings all 
the more keen. Her earthly hopes were blasted. She did 
not know that God had permitted her to be placed under 
such circumstances for a purpose, nor did she realize His 


power to alter those circumstances whenever it suited His 
purposes to do so. But she afterwards believed that every- 
thing had been ordered in mercy to call her from her life 
of pride and worldliness. God seems to have allowed her 
to go through the furnace fire of affliction that the dross 
might be purged out, and that she might come forth a ves- 
sel of pure gold. '' Such was the strength of my natural 
pride/' says she, ''that nothing but some dispensation of 
sorrow would have broken down my spirit, and turned me 
to God." Later, she says : " Thou hast ordered these things, 
O my God, for my salvation! In goodness Thou hast af- 
:flicted me. Enlightened by the result, I have since clearly 
seen, that these dealings of Thy providence were necessary, 
in order to make me die to my vain and haughty nature.'* 
Although she ate the bread of sorrow, and mingled her 
drink with her tears, all these things inclined her mind 
towards God, and she began to look to Him for comfort 
in her sorrow. About a year after her marriage a little 
son was bom to her, and then she felt the need of looking 
to God for his sake as well as for her own. 

One calamity after another now befell Madam Guyon. 
Soon after the birth of her son her husband lost a great 
part of his enormous wealth, and this greatly embittered her 
avaricious mother-in-law. In the second year of her mar- 
riage she fell sick, and it seemed that she would die, but 
her sickness was a means of causing her to think more of 
spiritual things. Her beloved half sister died, and then 
her mother also. Great as these trials were, they worked 
for her " a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory " 
(2 G)r. 4: 17). Bitterly had she learned that she could 
find rest nowhere except in God, and she now sought Him 
in earnest and found Him, and never again did she forsake 


From the works of A Kempis, De Sales, and the life 
of Madam Chantal, and from her conversations with a pious 
English lady. Madam Giiyon had learned much about spir- 
itual things. After an absence of four years, her cousin 
returned from Cochin China, and his visit was a great help 
to her spiritually. A humble Franciscan monk felt led of 
God to visit her home, and he also helped her much in 
spiritual things. It was this Franciscan who first led her 
to see clearly the need of seeking Christ through faith, 
and not through outward works alone as she had been do- 
ing. Through his instruction she was led to see that true 
religion was a matter of the heart and soul, rather than 
a mere routine of ceremonial duties and observances as 
she had supposed. With regard to certain words spoken 
by this Franciscan, concerning salvation through faith, she 
says: '^ Having said these words, the Franciscan left me. 
They were to me like the stroke of a dart, which pierced 
my heart asunder. I felt at this instant deeply wounded 
with the love of God — sl wound so delightful that I desired 
it never might be healed. These words brought into my 
heart what I had been seeking so many years; or rather 
they made me discover what was there, and which I did 
not enjoy for want of knowing it." Later, she says: *'I 
told this good man, that I did not know what he had done 
to me; that my heart was quite changed; that God was 
there; for from that moment He had given me an exper- 
ience of His presence in my soul — ^not merely as an object 
intellectually perceived by the application of the mind, but 
as a thing really possessed after the sweetest manner. 
I experienced those words in the Canticles : * Thy name is 
as a precious ointment poured forth ; therefore do the vir- 
gins love Thee.' For I felt in my soul an unction, which, 
as a salutary perfume healed in a moment all my wounds. 
I slept not all that night, because Thy love, O my God! 


flowed in me like delicious oil, and burned as a fire which 
was going to destroy all that was left of self in an instant. 
I was all on a sudden so altered, that I was hardly to be 
known either to myself or others/' 

Madam Guyon was« twenty years of age when she re- 
ceived this definite assurance of salvation through faith in 
Christ It was on July 22, 1668. After this experience, 
she says: ^'Nothing was more easy to me now than to 
practise prayer. Hours passed away like moments, while 
I could hardly do anything else but pray. The fervency 
of my love allowed me no intermission. It was a prayer 
of rejoicing and of possession, wherein the taste of God 
was so great, so pure, so unblended and uninterrupted, that 
it drew and absorbed the powers of the soul into a profound 
recollection, a state of confiding and afiFectionate rest in 
God, existing without intellectual effort.'' Some time later 
she said to the Franciscan, '' I love God far more than 
the most affectionate lover among men loves the object of 
his earthly attachment" ''This love of God," says she, 
''occupied my heart so constantly and strongly, that it 
was very difficult for me to think of anything else. Noth- 
ing else seemed worth attention." Later she says : " I bade 
farewell forever to assemblies which I had visited, to plays 
and diversions, to dancing, to unprofitable walks, and to 
parties of pleasure. The amusements and pleasures which 
are so much prized and esteemed by the world now ap- 
peared to me dull and insipid — ^so much so, that I wond- 
ered how I ever could have enjoyed them." 

A second son was bom to Madam Guyon in 1667, or a 
year before she was led into the above remarkable ex- 
perience; and her time was now occupied in caring for 
her children, and in visiting and ministering to the poor 
and needy. She caused many beautiful but poor young 
girls to be taught a trade, so that they would have less 


temptation to lead a life of sin. She also did much to 
rescue those who had already fallen into sin. With her 
means she often assisted poor tradesmen and mechanics to 
get a start in business. But she did not neglect prayer. 
She says : '' So strong, almost insatiable, was my desire 
for communion with God that I arose at four o'clock to 
pray." Prayer was the greatest pleasure of her life. 
Worldly people were astonished to see one so young, so 
beautiful, and so intellectual, wholly given up to God. 
Pleasure-loving society felt condemned by her life, and 
sought to persecute and ridicule her. Even her own rel- 
atives did not enter fully into her feelings, and her avar- 
icious mother-in-law sought to make her life more miser- 
able than ever and succeeded to some extent in alienating 
the affections of her husband and of her eldest son. But 
trials did not trouble her now as they did formerly, as 
she now regarded them as permitted of the Lord to keep 
her humble. A third child, a daughter, was bom to her 
in 1669. This little girl was a great comfort to her, but 
was destined soon to leave her. 

For about two years Madam Guyon's religious exper- 
ience continued to be a mountain-top one, and then she 
was drawn away to some extent into worldly conformity. 
On a visit to Paris she neglected prayer too much, and 
conformed too much to the worldly society with whom she 
formerly associated. Realizing this, she hastened away to 
her home, outside of Paris, and her anguish for her short- 
comings " was like a consuming fire." During a journey 
through many parts of France with her husband, in 1670, 
she also felt many temptations to the old life of worldly 
pleasure. Her sorrow was so great that she even felt that 
she would be glad if the Lord, by some sudden stroke of 
His providence, should take her, out of this world of temp- 
tation and sin. Her chief temptations were on the line of 


worldly dress and conversation. But the reproaches of her 
ixmscience were like a fire burning within her, and the sense 
of her short-comings filled her with bitterness and tears. 
For three months she did not enjoy her former com- 
munion with God. As a result her mind was turned to 
the question of holy living. She yearned for some one to 
instruct her how to live a more spiritual life, how to have 
a closer walk with God, and how to be *' more than con- 
queror " over the world, the fiesh, and the devil. Although 
these were the days of Nicole and Amauld, of Pascal and 
Racine, Christians of deep spiritual insight were scarce 
m France. But in Genevieve Grainger, a Benedictine 
prioress, Madam Guyon found a friend who helped her 
much in spiritual things. As already mentioned, she also 
obtained much spiritual help from reading the works of 
A Kempis, Francis de Sales, and the life of Madam 
Chantal. One day as she was walking across one of the 
bridges of the River Seine, in Paris, accompanied by her 
footman, on her way to Notre Dame Church, a poor man 
in religious garb suddenly joined them and entered into 
religious conversation. ''This man," says she, "spoke to 
me in a wonderful manner of God and divine things." He 
seemed to know all about her history, her virtues, and her 
faults. " He gave me to understand," says she, " that God 
required not merely a heart of which it could only be said 
it is forgiven, but a heart which could properly, and in 
some real sense, be designated as holy, that it was not suf- 
ficient to escape hell, but that He demanded also the sub- 
jection of the evils of our nature, and the utmost purity 
and height of Christian attainment." Concerning the ef- 
fect of this conversation Madam Guyon says : '' The Spirit 
of God bare witness to what he said. The words of this 
remarkable man, whom I never saw before, and whom I 
have never seen since, penetrated my very soul. Deeply 


affected and overcome by what he had said, I had no 
sooner reached the church than I fainted away." Having 
already felt her weakness and her need of a deeper spirit- 
ual experience, and having received so direct a message 
through the providence of God, Madam Guyon resolved 
that day, before leaving the church, to give herself to the 
Lord anew. Taught by sad experience the impossibility 
of serving both God and the world, she resolved : " From 
this day, this hour, if it be possible, I will be wholly the 
Lord's. The world shall have no portion in me.'' Two 
years later she drew up and signed her historic Covenant 
of Consecration; but the real consecration seems to have 
been completed that day when she visited Notre Dame 
Church. She yielded herself without reserve to the will 
of God, and almost immediately her consecration was 
tested by a series of overwhelming afflictions which served 
to purge out the dross that was in her nature. Her idols 
were destroyed one after the other until all her hopes and 
joys and ambitions were centered in the Lord, and then 
He b^;an to use her mightily in the building up of His 
kingdom. Her beauty had been the greatest cause of her 
pride and worldly conformity, and that was the first of her 
idols to be smitten. On October 4, 1670, when she was 
little more than twenty-two years of age, the blow came 
upon her like lightning from heaven. She was stricken 
with the small-pox, in a most virulent form, and to a very 
great extent her beauty was destroyed^ '* But the devasta- 
tion without was counterbalanced by peace within," says 
she. ** My soul was kept in a state of contentment, greater 
than can be expressed. Reminded continually of one of 
the causes of my religious trials and falls, I indulged the 
hope of r^faining my inward liberty by the loss of that 
outward beauty which had been my grief. This view of 
my condition rendered my soul so well satisfied and so 


tmited to God, that it would not have exchanged its con- 
dition for that of the most happy prince in the world/' 
Everyone thought that she would be inconsolable. But she 
says : '^ As I lay in my bed, suffering the total deprivation 
of that which had been a snare to my pride, I experienced 
a joy unspeakable. I praised God with profound silence.'' 
She also says: " When I was so far recovered as to be able 
to sit up in my bed, I ordered a mirror to be brought, and 
indulged my curiosity so far as to view myself in it. I 
was no longer what I was once. It was then I saw my 
heavenly Father had not been unfaithful in His work, but 
haci ordered the sacrifice in all reality." The next of her 
most loved idols to be removed was her youngest son, to 
whom she was most fondly attached. ''This blow," says 
she, '* struck me to the heart. I was overwhelmed ; but God 
gave me strength in my weakness. I loved my young hoy 
tenderly ; but though I was greatly afflicted at his death, I 
saw the hand of the Lord so clearly, that I shed no tears. 
I offered him up to God ; and said in the language of Job, 
' The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away. . Blessed 
be His name.' In 1672 her beloved father died, and her 
beautiful little three year old daughter died the same year. 
The death of her friend and counsellor, Genevieve Grain- 
ger, followed soon after, so that she no longer had any arm 
of flesh to lean upon in her spiritual trials and difficulties. 
In 1676 her husband, who had become reconciled to her, 
was taken away in death. like Job, she lost everything 
that was dearest in this world; but she believed that the 
Lord allowed all these things for the humbling of her proud 
heart and will. She saw the hand of Gokl so clearly in 
them that she exclaimed: "Oh, adorable conduct of my 
God I There must be no guide, no prop for the person 
whom Thou art leading into the regions of darkness and 
death. There must be no conductor, no support to the 


man whom Thou art determined to destroy to the entire 
destruction of the natural life.'' By the *' destruction of 
the natural life" she meant the destruction of carnality 
and selfishness. 

Great as were the trials already mentioned, Madam 
Guyon had yet to pass through one of her greatest and 
most prolonged trials. In 1674 she entered upon what she 
afterwards called her "state of privation, or desolation," 
which lasted for seven years. During all that period she 
was without religious joy, peace, or emotions of any kind, 
and she had to walk by faith alone. She continued her 
devotions and her works of charity, but without the pleas- 
ure and satisfaction she had previously felt. She seemed 
to be left without God, and she made the mistake of imag- 
ining that God had really forsaken her. She had yet to 
learn how to walk by faith instead of by feeling. True 
joy and peace come from living by faith, without regard 
to feelings. We are filled with all joy and peace in be- 
lieving (Rom. 15: 13). But when we look at our feelings 
and take our eyes off the Lord, then all true joy and peace 
leave us. Madam Guyon seems to have made this great 
mistake, and for seven years she kept looking for feelings 
and emotions before she learned to live above feelings and 
by simple faith in God. Then she found that the life of 
faith is much higher, holier, and happier than the life 
governed by feelings and emotions. She had been think- 
ing more about her emotions than about the Lord, more 
about the gift than the Giver; but at last her faith rose 
triumphantly above circumstances and feelings. 

Almost seven years after she lost her joy and emotion, 
she began to correspond with Father La Combe, an eminent 
Superior of the Bamabite order whom she had been the 
means of leading into the light of salvation through faith 
some years previously. He was now the instrument of 


leading her out into the clear light and sunshine of Chris- 
tian experience. He showed her that God had not for- 
saken her as she was so often tempted to believe, but that 
He was crucifying the self life in her. The light began 
to dawn upon her, and gradually the darkness was driven 
away. She appointed the 22d of July, 1680, as a day in 
which Father La Combe should pray especially for her if 
her letter should reach him in time, Although he was a 
long way off, her letter providentially reached him in time, 
and both he and Madam Guyon spent the day in fasting 
and prayer. It was a day long to be remembered in her 
history. God heard and answered their prayers. The 
clouds of darkness lifted from her soul, and floods of 
glory took their place. The Holy Spirit opened her eyes 
to see that her afflictions were God's mercies in disguise. 
They were like the dark tunnels which are short cuts 
through mountains of difficulties into the valleys of bless- 
ing beyond. They were God's chariots bearing her up- 
wards toward heaven. The vessel had been purified and 
fitted for His abode, and the Spirit of God, the heavenly 
Comforter, now took up His abode in her heart. Her 
whole soul was now flooded with His glory, and everything 
seemed full of joy. She describes her experience as fol- 
lows : " On the 22d of July, 1680, that happy day, my soul 
was delivered from all its pains. From the time of the 
first letter from Father La Combe I began to recover a 
new life. I was then indeed, only like a dead person raised 
up, who is in the beginning of his restoration, and raised 
up to a life of hope rather than of actual possession; but 
on this day I was restored, as it were, to perfect life,. and 
set wholly at liberty. I was no longer depressed, no longer 
borne down under the burden of sorrow. I had thought 
God lost, and lost forever ; but I found Him again. And 


He returned to me with unspeakable magnificence and 

" In a wonderful manner, difficult to explain, all that 
which had been taken from me, was not only restored, but 
restored with increase and new advantages. In Thee, O 
my God, I found it all, and more than all I The peace I 
now possessed was all holy, heavenly, inexpressible. What 
I had possessed some years before, in the period of my 
spiritual enjoyment, was consolation, peace — ^the gift of 
God rather than the Giver; but now, I was brought into 
such harmony with the will of God, that I might now be 
said to possess not merely consolation, but the God of con- 
solation; not merely peace, but the God of peace. This 
true peace of mind was worth all that I had undergone, al- 
though it was only in its dawning." 

In Torrents, describing the experience she now enjoyed, 
she says : " 1 had a deep peace which seemed to pervade 
the whole soul, and resulted from the fact that all my de- 
sires were fulfilled in God. I feared nothing; that is, con- 
sidered in its ultimate results and relations, because my 
strong faith placed God at the head of all perplexities and 
events. I desired nothing but what I now had, because I 
had full belief that, in my present state of mind, the re- 
sults of each moment constituted the fulfilment of the Di- 
vine purposes. As a sanctified heart is always in harmony 
with the Divine providences, I had no will but the Divine 
will, of which such providences are the true and appro- 
priate expression." 

In another place she says : " One characteristic of this 
higher degree of experience was a sense of inward purity. 
My mind had such a oneness with God, such a unity with 
the Divine nature, that nothing seemed to have power to 
soil it and to diminish its purity. It experienced the truth 
of that declaration of Scripture, 'to the pure all things 


are pure/ " Again, she says : ** From this titne, I found 
myself in the enjoyment of liberty. My mind experienced 
a remarkable facility in doing and suffering everything 
which presented itself in the order of God's providence. 
God's order became its law." 

Madam Guyon's life was now characterized by great 
simplicity and power. After she had found the way of sal- 
vation through faith, she was the means of leading many in 
France into the experience of conversion, or regeneration. 
And now, since she had received a deeper, richer, fuller 
experience herself, she began to lead many others into the 
experience of sanctification through faith, or into an exper- 
ience of " victory over the self life," or " death to the self 
life/' as she was fond of calling it. Her soul was all ablaze 
with the unctbn and power of the Holy Spirit, and every- 
where she went she was besieged by multitudes of hungry, 
thirsty, souls, who flocked to her for the spiritual meat that 
they failed to get from their regular pastors. Revivals of 
religion hega^n in almost every place visited by her, and all 
over France earnest Christians began to seek the deeper 
experience taught by her. Father La Combe began to 
spread the doctrine with great unction and power. Then 
the great Archbishop Fenelon was led into a deeper exper- 
ience through the prayers of Madam Guyon, and he too be- 
gan to spread the teaching all over France. So many were 
led to renounce their worldliness and sinfulness, and to con- 
secrate their lives wholly to God, that worldly priests and 
professors felt condemned. They then began to persecute 
Madam Guyon, Father La Combe, Fenelon, and all who 
held the doctrine of " pure love," or " entire death to the 
self life." Father La Combe was thrown into prison, and 
so cruelly tortured that his reason became affected. Finally 
the corrupt and dissolute King, Louis XIV., imprisoned 
Madam Guyon in the Convent of St. Marie. But she had 


learned how to suffer, and she bore her persecutions pa- 
tiently, and grew stronger and stronger spiritually. Her 
time in prison was spent in prayer, praise, and writing, al- 
though she was sick part of the time because of the poor air 
and on account of other inconveniences in her little cell. 
After eight months in prison her friends secured her re- 
lease. Her enemies tried to poison her while she was in 
prison, and she suffered seven years from the effects of the 
poison. Her writings were now sold and read all over 
France, and in many other parts of Europe, and in this way 
multitudes were brought to Christ and into a deeper spirit- 
ual experience through her teachings. In 1695 she was 
again imprisoned by order of the King, and this time was 
placed in the Castle of Vincennes. The following year she 
was transferred to a prison at Vaugiard. In 1698 she was 
placed in a dungeon in the Bastile, the historic and dreaded 
prison of Paris. For four years she was in this dungeon, 
but so great was her faith in God, her prison seemed like a 
palace to her. In 1702 she was banished to Blois, where she 
spent the remainder of her life in her Master's service. She 
died in perfect peace, and without a cloud on the fulness of 
her hopes and joy, in the year 17 17, at 69 years of age. 

Madam Guyon left behind her about sixty volumes of 
her writings. Many of her sweetest poems, and some 6i her 
most helpful books, were written during her imprisonment. 
Some of her poems were translated into English by the poet 
Cowper. Some of her hymns are very popular, and her 
writings have been a mighty influence for good in this world 
of sin and sorrow. Perhaps her own Christian experience 
is best described in the following words from her own pen: 
" To me remains nor place nor time ; 
My country is in every clime ; 
I can be calm and free from care 
On any shore since God is there.'* 




For piety, and talent, and real saintliness of character, 
few names have ranked so ];iigh as that of Fenelon, the 
celebrated Archbishop of Cambray, or Cambrai, in France. 
Although the Pope, the King of France, and the greatest 
literary genius of the period combined and conspired to 
ruin Fenelon, his sweet Qiristian spirit and commanding 
genius triumphed over all and made him one of the most 
loved of men. Not only in France but throughout the 
world, his name is today a household synon3rm for piety. 
Francois de Salignac de la Mothe Fenelon was of noble 
birth. He was a younger son of Count Pons de Salignac, 
a Gascon nobleman, and was bom in the Castle of Fene- 
lon, in Pcrigord, France, in 1651. He was carefully trained 
at home until twelve years of age, when he was sent to 
the University of Cahors, and afterwards to the College 
of Plessis at Paris. His mind was very early turned to 
the subject of religion, and at the age of fifteen he preached 
his first sermon. His theological studies were continued 
at the Seminary of Saint Sulpice, the Principal of which 
was the celebrated and pious Abbe Tronson, a man re- 
nowned for his piety, talents, and learning. Francois be- 
came a favorite pupil of Tronson's, who gave him the 
most careful intellectual and spiritual training. From 
Tronson, who is often classed among the great Mystics, 
he doubtless imbibed many of the views concerning in- 
ward Christian experience and real consecration to God 


which afterward made him so eminent a champion and ex- 
ponent of the higher Christian life. In 1675, at the age 
of twenty-four, he was ordained a priest, and for three 
years he ministered in the parish of St. Sulpice. Before 
his ordination he was strongly inclined to go as a mis- 
sionary to Canada or to the Levant, but his uncle kept 
him from doing so, although he seems to have visited 
Canada for a brief period. 

Early in life Fenelon's remarkable genius and talents 
began to display themselves in devotional, philosophical, 
and educational books and writings. Some of his books 
on educational subjects are greatly prized even at the pres- 
ent time. The King of France, Louis XIV., was so at- 
tracted by the qualifications of Fenelon that in 1689 ^^ ^^^ 
intrusted with the education of the young Duke of Bur- 
gundy, grandson of the King and heir apparent to the throne 
of France. The Duke was very headstrong, self-willed and 
passionate; but through the instruction and influence of 
Fenelon he gained the mastery of himself, and would doubt- 
less have been a great and good king had he ever mounted 
the throne. After serving five years as tutor of the Duke, 
Fenelon was made Archbishop of Cambray, in 1694. 

At a time when he was honored by the King of France, 
and rapidly rising to fame, Fenelon became acquainted 
with Madam Guyon, and through her prayers and conver- 
sation he was led into a deeper,, richer, and fuller Chris- 
tian experience which made him willing to sacrifice any- 
thing in the service of Christ. He had often heard of the 
piety and talents of Madam Guyon, who was suffering 
great persecution from members of the Roman Catholic 
Church on account of her teachings concerning a real cru- 
cifixion of the self life and absolute acquiesence in the will 
of God. While passing through the old home pf Madam 
Guyon, on his return from a mission to the Protestants 


of Poitou, he made many inquiries concerning her, and 
heard so much about her piety that he determined to visit 
her, although he knew that it might cost him the King's 
favor and also his reputation and position to do so. No 
doubt the Lord put it into his heart to visit her under 
such trying circumstances. He met her first at the village 
of Beine, at the home of the Duchess of Charost. They 
conversed for some time on the subject of inward experi- 
ence, the subject which interested them most. The expe- 
rience of Madam Guyon made a deep impression upon 
the mind of Fenelon. Next day he visited her again at 
the home of the Duchess of Bethune, in Paris. They spent 
some time in prayer together, but Fenelon was not yet 
filled with the Spirit, although his eyes were opened to 
see more clearly what the Lord had in store for him. 

During the next eight (kys a great burden of prayer 
for Fenelon rested upon the heart of Madam Guyon, and 
then the agony of soul passed away and she found inward 
rest. Near the end of this period of travail of soul, she 
wrote Fenelon a letter dated Paris, November, 1688, tell- 
ing of her burden of prayer for him and urging him to 
make a complete surrender of his will to God. In this 
letter she says : " For seven days past I have been in a 
state of continual prayer for you. I call it prayer, al- 
though the state of mind has been somewhat peculiar. I 
have desired nothing in particular. But my soul present- 
ing continually its object before God, that God's will might 
be accomplished and God's glory might be manifested in 
it, has been like a lamp that bums without ceasing." Later, 
in the same letter, she says : " It seems to me that the 
designs of mercy, which God has upon you, are not yet 
accomplished. Your soul is not yet brought into full har- 
mony with God, and therefore I suffer. My suffering is 
great. My prayer is not yet heard. 


** The prayer which I oflFer for you is not the work of 
the creature. It is not a prayer self-made, formal, and 
outward. It is the voice of the Holy Ghost uttering it- 
self in the soul, an inward voice which man cannot pre- 
vent or control. The Holy Ghost prays with effect. When 
the inward voice ceases, it is a sign that the grace which 
has been supplicated has been sent down. I have been 
in this state of mind before for other souls, but never 
with such struggle of spirit, and never for so long a time. 
God's designs will be accomplished upon you. I speak with 
confidence; but I think it cannot be otherwise." 

The next day she wrote him again. ''So deeply ab- 
sorbing has been the application of my soul to God on 
your account that I have slept but little during the past 
night. And at this moment I can give an idea of my state 
only by saying that my spirit, in the interest which it feels 
for your entire renovation, bums and consumes itself with- 
fai me. 

" I have an inward conviction that the obstacle, which 
has hitherto separated you from God, is diminishing and 
passing away. Certain it is, that my soul b^ns to feel 
a spiritual likeness and union ^ith yours, which it has not 
previously felt." 

Fenelon was humble in spirit, and hungered for a deeper 
spiritual experience. Although a giant in intellect, he was 
willing to learn from a little child. His first great strug- 
gle was to be absolutely willing to utterly abandon him- 
self to the will of God; for as Madam Guyon says, ''A 
will surrendered is not always a will abandoned." Many 
who haVe surrendered their wills to God are still anxious 
to carry out their own plans and ambitions, and are greatly 
vexed when their plans are thwarted. Fenelon seems finally 
to have abandoned himself completely to the will of God, 
but he struggled long before realizing the experience for 


which his soul was hungering and thirsting. He some- 
times met Madam Guyon, and frequently corresponded 
with her concerning the experience which he so much de- 
sired. Finally Madam Guyon wrote him a letter con- 
cerning the steps necessary for the entire crucifixion of 
the life of self. Fenelon seems to have grasped them in- 
tellectually very clearly, as we learn from his summary 
of them in a subsequent letter to Madam Guyon. In this 
letter he says : '* I think, Madame, that I understand in 
general, the statements in the paper which you had the 
kindness to send me; in which you describe the various 
experiences which characterize the soul's return to God by 
means of simple or pure faith. I will endeavor, however, 
to recapitulate some of your views, as they present them- 
selves to me, that I may learn whether I correctly under- 
stand them. 

" I. The first step which is taken by the soul that has 
formally and permanently given itself to God, would be 
to bring what may be called its external powers — ^that is, 
its natural appetites and propensities, — ^under subjection. 
The religious state of the soul at such times is charac- 
terized by that simplicity which shows its sincerity, and 
that is sustained by faith. So that the soul does not act 
of itself alone, but follows and co-operates, with all its 
power, with the grace that is given it. It gains the vic- 
tory through faith. 

" II. The second step is to cease to rest on the pleas- 
ures of inward sensibility. The struggle here is, in gen- 
eral^ more severe and prolonged. It is hard to die to 
those inward tastes and relishes, which make us feel so 
happy, and which God usually permits us to enjoy and to 
rest upon in our first experience. When we lose our in- 
ward happiness, we are very apt to think that we lose 
God; not considering that the moral life' of the soul does 


not consist in pleasure, but in union with God's will, wfiat- 
evcr that may be. The victory here also is by faith ; act- 
ing, however, in a little different way. 

" III. Another step is that of entire crucifixion to any 
reliance upon our virtues, either outward or inward. The 
habits of the life of self have become so strong, that there 
is hardly anything in which we do not take a d^^ee of 
complacency. Having gained the victory over its senses, 
and having gained so much strength that it can live by 
faith, independently of inward pleasurable excitements, the 
soul begins to take a d^^ee of satisfaction, which is se- 
cretly a selfish one, in its virtues, in its truth, temperance, 
faith, benevolence, and to rest in them as though they were 
its own, and as if they gave it a claim of acceptance on 
the ground of its merit. We are to be dead to them, con- 
sidered as coming from ourselves; and alive to them only 
as the gifts and the power of God. We are to have no 
perception or life in them, in the sense of taking secret 
satisfaction in them; and are to take satisfaction in the 
Giver of them only. 

** IV. A fourth step consists in a cessation or death 
to that repugnance whidi men naturally feel to those deal- 
ings of God which are involved in the process of inward 
crucifixion. The blows which God sends upon us are re- 
ceived without the opposition which once existed and ex- 
isted oftentimes with great power. So clear is the soul's 
perception of God's presence in everything; so strong is 
its faith, that those apparently adverse dealings, which 
were once so exceedingly trying, are now received, not 
merely with acquiescence, but with cheerfulness. It kisses 
the hand that smites it. 

"V. When we have proceeded so far, we may say 
with a good deal of reason, that the natural man is dead. 
And then comes, as a fifth step in this process, the new 


UFE, nof merely the beginning of a new life, Snt a new 
life in the higher sense of the terms, the resurrection of 
the life of love. All those gifts which the soul before 
sought in its own strength, and perverted and rendered 
poisonous and destructive to itself, by the seeking them out 
of God, are now richly and fully returned to it, by the 
great Giver of all things. It is not the design or plan of 
God to deprive His creatures of happiness, but only to 
pour the cup of bitterness into all that happiness, and to 
smite all that joy and prosperity which the creature has in 
any thing out of Himself. There is a moral law of hap- 
piness, which is as unchangeable as the unchangeableness of 
moral principles. He smites the false happiness, or hap- 
piness founded on false principles, which is only the pre- 
cursor of real permanent misery, in order that He may 
establish the true and everlasting happiness, by bringing 
the soul into perfect communion and union with Himself, 
and by enabling it to drink the living water from the 
Everlasting Fountain. And the soul has this new life, 
and all the good and happiness involved in it, by ceasing 
from its own action (that is to say, from all action ex- 
cept that which is in co-operation with God), and letting 
God live and act in it 

" VI. And this life, in the sixth place, becomes a truly 
transformed life, a life in union with God, when the will 
of the soul becomes not only conformed to God practically 
and in fact, but is conformed to Him in every thing in it, 
and in the relations it sustains, which may be called a dispo- 
sition or tendency. It is then, that there is such a har- 
mony between the human and divine will, that they may 
be properly regarded as having become one. This, I sup- 
pose, was the state of St. Paul, when he says, ' / live; yet 
not I, but Christ liveth in me. • • .' Of such a soul. 



which IS described as the Temple of the Holy Ghost, God 
Himself is the dweller and the light. 

''This transformed soul does not cease to advance in 
holiness. It is transformed without remaining where it is ; 
new without being stationary. Its life is love, all love; 
but the capacity of that love continually increases/' 

Although Fenelon had so clear an intellectual under- 
standing of the steps necessary to attain to a life of com- 
plete consecration and abandonment to the will of God, 
it was some time before he obtained the experience de- 
scribed by him in the words just quoted. But finally he 
seems to have laid hold on the truth with his heart as well 
as with his intellect, and his whole life and character were 
completely transformed. He became so great an exam- 
ple of Christian love and piety that his name carries with 
it a sweet savor of Christ wherever he is known ; and this 
notwithstanding the fact that many attempts are made to 
justify the Pope's treatment of Fenelon by disparaging the 
character of the latter. 

It was well for Fenelon that he " put on the whole 
armour of God," for he had a great battle to fight on be- 
half of the doctrine of entire death to the self life which 
he had espoused. He was to become the greatest champion 
of the doctrine in the annals of the history of his time. 
Arrayed against him were the dissolute King, Louis XIV., 
and Bossuet, the greatest literary genius of his day, and 
many of the most corrupt among the priests and people 
of the Romish Church. Madam Guyon's teachings con- 
cerning the interior life had already aroused their oppo- 
sition when Fenelon took up the gauntlet on her behalf. 
The doctrine of entire death to the self life, or of pure 
or disinterested love, was spreading over the world so 
rapidly that worldly and formal professors of religfion 
became alarmed, and resolved to crush it out Fathtr 


LaQ>mbe was thrown into prison and so cruelly tortured 
that his reason became affected. As already mentioned. 
Madam Guyon was also thrown into prison, by direct order 
of the King. Fenelon, who was now foremost in teaching 
the doctrine of pure or disinterested love, was not thrown 
into prison, because his influence was so great that even the 
King feared to imprison him. 

Bishop Bossuet the greatest literary genius of the day, 
wrote a book against the teachings of Madam Guyon and 
sent it to Fendon for his approval. The influence and 
standing of Fenelon were so great that Bossuet knew that 
his approval of the book would mean much to the masses 
of the people, and he thought that Fenelon would fear 
to displease him and the King by withholding his approval. 
But the book was so personal against Madam Guyon that 
Fenelon felt he could not g^ve it his approval, and he wrote 
Bossuet to this effect. 

Fenelon knew that he would have to defend himself 
for not endorsing Bossuet's book against Madam Guyon. 
He therefore wrote a great work in reply to Bossuet. It 
was entitled, ** Maxims of the Saints Concerning the Inte- 
rior Life." In this work he showed that the greatest and 
most spiritual saints all down through the ages had be- 
lieved and taught the interior life of self-crucifixion and 
pure love. Many of the most eminent saints were quoted 
to this effect, including St. Francis de Sales, St. Francis 
of Assisi, John of the Cross, Father Alvarez, St. Thomas 
Aquinas, St. Bernard, St. Theresa, Dionysius the Areopa- 
gite, Gregory Lopez, and many others. Many decisions 
of ancient church councils concerning the subject were also 
quoted. There was nothing personal in the book, but it 
stirred the anger and indignation of Bossuet to see how the 
people received it. He had been accustomed to swaying 


the multitudes by his writings, and it was a great trial to 
him to see that Fenelon's books were becoming more pop- 
ular than his own. He had not the sweet Christian spirit 
of Fenelon, and could brook no opposition. He deter- 
mined to crush Fenelon at any cost, and for this purpose 
wrote book after book against him. Great and masterly 
as were the works of Bossuet, the replies of Fenelon seem 
to have been still more masterly and decisive, and were cer- 
tainly written in a more Christian spirit, and public opinion 
was more favorable towards them. Speaking concerning 
Fenelon's victory over Bossuet, Charles Butler, one of Fen- 
elon's biographers, says : " Never did virtue and genius 
obtain a more complete triumph. Fenelon's reply, by a 
kind of enchantment, restored to him every heart." Bos- 
suet, finding that he was no match for Fenelon in argu- 
ment, determined to take the more direct method of ap- 
pealing to the Pope to condemn his writings as heretical. 
The Pope, Innocent XH., had been a great admirer of the 
genius and writings of Fenelon, and had expressed him- 
self favorably towards him. It was a matter of great grief 
to him that the controversy had been brought to Rome. 
He did not want to condemn the writings of Fenelon, 
neither did he wish to offend the King of France or Bishop 
Bossuet He delayed his decision for many months, and 
it was only after the most urgent appeals and almost com- 
mands from the King of France, that he finally pronounced 
a mild condemnation on some of the expressions used by 
Fenelon. The commission of cardinals appointed by the 
Pope to examine the writings of Fenelon were divided in 
their opinion concerning them. The cardinals Alfaro, Fab- 
roni. Bouillon, and Gabricellio, and some of less note, took 
the side of Fenelon. They were men of great learning, and 
they maintained that the doctrines taught by Fenelon were 
held by the great and pious men of the church in all ages, 


induding such illustrious saints as Qement, Cassian, Diony- 
sius, Thauler, Gerson, De Sales, John of the Cross, Saint 
Theresa, the Bishop of Bellay, and many others. They 
also claimed that these doctrines were supported both by 
the Scriptures and by reason. For two years the board 
of cardinals continued to discuss the question without com- 
ing to any decision. Louis XIV., King of France, then 
became so impatient for the condemnation of Fenelon that 
he decided to take a step that would intimidate the Pope 
and cardinals and hasten their decision. For this purpose 
he banished Fenelon to his own diocese of Cambray, and 
also b^;an a series of persecutions against the frjends of 
Fenelon. Urged on by Bossuet, he wrote again and again 
to the Pope, asking him and almost commanding him to 
condemn ^e teachings of Fenelon. Finally, in 1699, the 
Pope issued his mild condemnation of some of the expres- 
sions used by Fenelon, because of the wrong construction 
which might be placed upon them. But he did not con- 
demn them in the sense in which they were intended by 

From the time of his banishment to his own diocese un- 
til his death, Fenelon confined his work to the diocese of 
Cambray, where he was greatly beloved by the people, most 
of whom were Flemish peasants. Many anecdotes are re- 
lated concerning his love for these simple country folk. 
One day, during one of his rural excursions, he met a 
poor peasant grieving over the loss of a cow. He gave 
the poor man enough money to buy another cow, but no- 
ticed that he was still sad. This was because he was so 
fond of his cow that he thought there was no other cow 
like her. Fenelon continued his walk, and found the cow 
the peasant had lost Although the sun had set and it 
was quite dark, he drove her back to the peasant's cot- 
tage. Although his revenues as Archbishop of Cambray 


were considerable, Fenelon spent all in making other 
happy. During his absence one time, before his banish 
ment to his own diocese, word was brought to Fendoi 
that his archepiscopal palace at Cambray had burned t 
the ground and that his fine library was destroyed. Hi 
friend, the Abbe de Langeron, seeing him conversing wit! 
some friends, thought he had not heard the sad news, an< 
started to break it to him gently. Fenelon, noticing th 
solicitude of the good Abbe and surmising the cause of i1 
informed him that he was already acquainted with the new 
of what had happened. His faith in God and resigna 
tion to His will and providence were too great for such ; 
thing to deeply affect him. 

For six days before his death, Fenelon listened con 
stantly to the reading of the Scriptures, and the g^eate 
part of his last two nights on earth were spent in listenini 
to the reading of his favorite texts. He died January 7 
171 5, and was buried in the cathedral at Cambray. 

In personal appearance Fenelon was very imposing 
''He was a tall, thin man, well made, pale, with a larg* 
nose, eyes whence life and talent streamed like a torrent,' 
says St. Simon, his contemporary and biographer. Hi 
educational writings rank so high that they are in grea 
demand even at the present day. His political views wer 
far in advance of his times, and doubtless this was one 
the main causes of the King's opposition to him. His de 
votional writings, especially his " Letters to Men,'' an< 
" Letters to Women," rank among the world's best Chris 
tian literature. They will doubtless continue to exert j 
mighty influence in the building up and deepening of Chris 
tian character and experience until the end of this dispen 


Perhaps no other small denomination of Christians has 
so influenced the world for good as have the Quakers, or 
Friends. When George Fox, the foimder of tiie Friends' 
Societies, began his preaching, the churches everywhere 
were dead and formal, and when the churches drift into 
formalism the world drifts into infidelity. A formal church 
has always resulted in an unbelieving world. The Quaker 
movement seems to have been raised up of God just in the 
nick of time to save the church from formalism and the 
world from infidelity. George Fox, like the ancient pro- 
phets, was sent of God to call the church from formalism 
to a real spiritual worship. Like many other great re- 
formers, he was doubtless an extremist on some lines, but 
it sometimes seems to be necessary for reformers to be ex- 
tremists in order to thoroughly arouse the people. We 
cannot agree with the Friends in discarding the outward 

ordinances, which seem[ so clearly taught in the Scriptures 
and which seem to have been practised by the early Chris- 
tian church and by the churches^ all down through the cen- 
turies of the Christian era. But perhaps the Lord allowed 
the Friends to thus discard alt outward ordinances in or- 
der the more clearly to direct the minds of the people to 
the fact that He requires spiritual worship, and not mere 
forms and ceremonies. 

On many great questions the Friends were far in ad- 
vance of the times in which the movement was founded. 



They raised their voices clearly against slavery nearly two 
hundred years before others were brought to see the in- 
justice, cruelty and sin of the traffic in human beings. An- 
other matter in which the Friends were far in advance of 
others was in their opposition tc war. They have prob- 
ably been more instrumental than cmy other body of peo- 
ple in bringing about the prebei:^ apposition to warfare. 
The peace and arbitration movements of today doubtless 
owe their origin to the Quakers more than to any other 
class of persons. The Friends have also been foremost in 
freeing woman from the bondage and subjection in which 
she has been kept all down through the ages, especially in 
Oriental lands. Believing that Paul's instructions concern- 
ing the subordination of women were only a temporary 
concession to the prejudice of the age in which he lived, 
the Friends have encouraged the teadiing, preadiing, and 
ministry of women as have no other denomination of 
Christians, with perhaps the exception of the Salvation 
Army, which is of more recent origin and whidi may have 
been influenced by the Friends. From the beginning of 
the movement the Friends have opposed not only war and 
slavery of every kind, but they have also done much to 
secure the abolition of capital punishment for minor of- 
fences, imprisonment for debt, and religious persecution 
of every kind. 

It may be said that the reason why the Quakers have 
been leaders in so many great reforms, and the reason why 
they have been so prosperous in business affairs, is be- 
cause their form of worship appeals to and attracts only 
persons of great reflective power and mental ability, and 
does not appeal to the masses. While there is some truth 
in this assertion, we believe that it is also true that the 
great reason why the Friends were leaders in spiritual 
thought and business enterprises was because God enlight- 


med and blessed them because of their consecration to His 

The remarkable thing about the Quaker movement, so 
Ear in advance of its times on so many great questions, 
ivas that it was founded by a poor and uneducated shoe- 
maker. But many of the greatest leaders, like Bunyan, 
Moody, and Spurgeon, have been raised up from among 
the common people. ''God hath chosen the weak things 
3f the world to confound the things which are mighty" 
(i G>r. 1:27). George Fox began his preaching with- 
out a follower, without belonging to anything, without any 
special training, without a place to preach in, and with- 
out social prestige of any kind. He raised his voice un- 
;x»npromisingly against all the popular evils of the age, 
igainst the formalism of both the established and free 
rhurches, and against the religious persecutions for which 
lie King and magistrates were responsible. He was per- 
secuted, beaten, stoned, arrested and imprisoned more fre- 
luently perhaps than any other person who ever lived, 
rhere are few pages in his large journals which do not 
:x>ntain some reference to his being mobbed, stoned, ar- 
rested, or haled before the magistrates. In like manner 
[lis followers were persecuted and imprisoned because they 
cypposed so many popular evils and refused to conform to 
ceremonies and practises which they could not conscien- 
tiously perform. It is probable that George Fox and the 
early Quakers suffered more for conscience sake and the 
cause of religious freedom, and did more to bring about 
religious liberty, than did any other class of people since 
the days of the Reformation. Over and over again they 
were thrown into prison for not doing things they could 
not conscientiously do, especially for not conforming to 
the state church, for refusing to enter the army and navy, 
and because they would not take judicial oaths. It is es- 


tima^ that af one time, in the year 1662, iio less thad 
4,500 Quakers were in prison in England and Wales for 
causes of this kind. But notwithstanding all they suf* 
fered for the cause of religious freedom, George Fox and 
the early Quakers increased in favor with God and man. 
Prejudice against them gradually died away. People found 
that they could trust them, and Friends in business were 
better patronized than any other dass of people. Nations 
are coming more and more to recognize the right to reli- 
gious liberty and freedom of conscience for which the 
Friends suffered so much. All over the world today there 
is talk of abolishing war and settling differences in a judi- 
cial and reasonable way rather than by murder and brute 
force. Thus mighty movements for the advancement of 
'' peace on earth and goodwill toward men '' were brought 
about to a great extent by the humble ministry of a poor 
English cobbler; just as the world's most helpful book 
(the Word of God being excepted), " Pilgrim's Progress," 
was written by a poor illiterate English tinker, John Bun- 

George Fox, the famous founder of the Quaker, or 
Friends', societies, was bom in 1624, at Drayton-in-the- 
Qay, Leicestershire, England. His father, he says, ''was 
a weaver, an honest man; and there was a seed 'of God in 
him. The neighbors called him Righteous Christer. My 
mother was an upright woman; her name was Lago, and 
she was of the stock of the martyrs." 

Like Savonarola, Fox was solenm and grave even as a 
child, and was unlike other children around him. At eleven 
years of age he definitely yielded his heart to God, and 
ever afterward sought to live an honest, upright life. His 
parents, who were members of the Church of England, 
desired to train him in their way of worship, but did not 
urge him to conform to the Established Church. As he 

GEORGE rox m 

p-ew up, some of his relatives wished him to become a 
priest, but others persuaded him to the contrary. He ap- 
prenticed himself to a shoemaker, who also dealt in wool 
and had many sheep. In this position much money went 
through the hands of Fox, btxt he says that the Lord's 
power was with him so that he ''never wronged a man 
or woman in all that time.'^ 

At the age of nineteen Fok was deeply grieved and 
shocked at the levity of some professing Qiristians, one 
of them being his own cousin, who asked him into a booth 
at a fair and then began to drink healths. He was so 
deeply grieved over this that he could not sleep all night, 
but walked up and down his room praying to the Lord. 
Even as a young man he was very careful of his conduct 
and conversation. '' For the Lord showed me/' says he, 
''that though the people of the world have mouths full of 
deceit, and changeable words, yet I was to keep to Yea 
and Nay in all things; and that my words should be few 
and savoury, seasoned with grace; and that I might not 
cat and drink to make myself wanton, but for health," 
etc In 1643 he became so deeply grieved with the light- 
ness and frivolity of the world that he broke off all com^ 
panionships with both old and young; and traveled to 
many strange places to be away from all friends, relatives, 
and acquaintances, and to be alone with God. He avoided 
conversing even with professing Christians, '' for I was 
sensible," says he, ''that they did not possess what they 
professed." He was in great distress, and strong tempta- 
tion and despair seized upon him. " I was about twenty 
years of age when these exercises came upon me," says he, 
''and I continued in that condition some years, in great 
trouUe, and fain would have put it from me. I went to 
many a priest to look for comfort, but found no comfort 
from them." The remedies suggested for his state of mind 


were-^that he should marry; that he should enlist in the 
army; that he should take physic and be bled; and one 
priest to whom he described his feelings of despair ad- 
vised him to use tobacco and sing psalms; ''but/' says 
Fox, ''tobacco was a thing I did not love, and psalms I 
was not in a state to sing." He was grieved that he had 
opened his mind to a man who would give such advice. 
He found his advisers all miserable comforters. One who 
lived at Tamworth was said to be " an experienced man/' 
but Fox went to see him and found him to be " like an 
empty hollow cask/' Dr. Craddock, of Coventry, to whom 
Fox went for advice, flew into a rage because the despon- 
dent youth accidentally stepped on the edge of his flower 

Finding that he could get no help from men, Fox be- 
gan to look to the Lord alone for help, and slowly the 
light began to dawn upon him. He was led to see " that 
being bred at Oxford and Cambridge did not qualify or 
fit a man to be a minister of Christ." His eyes were also 
opened to see that "only those were really believers in 
Christ who had passed from death unto life." He now 
left off going to the Established Churdi with his relatives. 
Neither did he go to any of the dissenting churches. He 
now went out into the fields with his Bible to study it for 
himself. He also spent much time in fasting and prayer. 
The Lord showed him many "openings," as he called 
them. Among other things, says he, " It was opened in 
me 'that God, who made the world, did not dwell in 
temples made by hands.' " This at first seemed a strange 
word, because both priests and people used to call their 
temples or churches, dreadful places, holy ground, and 
the temples of God. But the Lord showed me clearly, that 
He did not dwell in those temples which men had oom- 
manded and set up, but in people's hearts; for both Ste- 


phen and the Apostle Paul bore testimony, that He did 

not dwell in temples made with hands, not even in that 

which He had once commanded to be built, since He put 

an end to it ; but that His people were His temple, and He 

dwelt in them." Fox also claims that the Lord gave him 

many ''openings" concerning the meaning of the book of 
Revelation. After this, when clergymen or others told him 
that Revelation was ''a sealed book/' he would tell them 
that Christ could open the seals. 

The Lord continued to lead him on from step to step 
in his Christian experience, but his troubles were not com- 
pletely removed, although he often felt some degree of 
peace and joy. He hungered and thirsted for a deeper 
experience, and the Lord showed him that it was possible 
for him to have complete spiritual victory. He was led 
to see that there are two laws controlling men, the law of 
the flesh and the law of the Spirit, and that through the 
indwelling Spirit of God the Christian should have "lib' 
erty and victory over the flesh and its works." He now 
began to win many souls for Christ wherever he went; 
and in 1647 he began to declare to professing Christians 
the deep truths which God had been revealing to him. 
** But the professors were in a rage," says he, " all plead- 
ing for sin and imperfection, and could not endure to hear 
talk of perfection, and of a holy and sinless life." 

Soon after he began to preach. Fox passed through a 
remarkable spiritual experience which made him a four- 
teen days' wonder to many. A certain man named Brown, 

wliile on his death-bed, prophesied many great things con- 
cerning Fox. " When this man was buried," says Fox, " a 
great work of the Lord fell on me, to the admiration oi 
many who thought I had been dead; and many came U 
see me for about fourteen days. I was very much altered 



in countenance and person, as if my body had been new 
molded or changed* While I was in that condition I had 
a sense and discerning given me by the Lord, through 
which I saw plainly that when many people talked of God 
and of Christ, etc., the serpent spoke in them; but this 
was hard to be borne. Yet the work of the Lord went 
on in some, and my sorrows and troubled began to wear 
off, and tears of joy dropped from me, so that I could 
have wept night and day with tears of joy to the Lord, 
in humility and brokenness of heart. I saw into that which 
was without end, and things which cannot be uttered, and 
of the greatness and infinitude of the love of God, which 
cannot be expressed by words. . . . And a report went 
abroad of me, that I was a young man that had a dis- 
cerning spirit; whereupon many came to me, frcmi far 
and near, professors, priests, and people; and the Lord's 
power brake forth; and I had great openings and pro- 
phecies; and spake unto them of the things of God, and 
they heard with attention and silence, and went away, and 
spread the fame thereof." 

After passing through the experience described above. 
Fox was mightly used of God, and great conviction of 
sin fell upon the people to whom he preadied. ''The 
Lord's power began to shake them," says he, ''and great 
meetings we began to have, and a mighty power and work 
of God there was amongst people, to the astonishment oi 
both people and priests." Later, he says, "After this I 
went to Mansfield, where was a great meeting of profes- 
sors and people; here I was moved to pray ; and the Lord's 
power was so great, that the house seemed to be shaken." 

Fox now went about the country preaching wherever 
he could find an opening. He frequently entered the 
" steeple-houses," as he called the $tate churches.. And 
when the priest finished speaking he would arise and 


hort the people. He often pointed out to them that their 
meeting-chouses were not churches, but that the people 
who truly believed in Christ were the real church of God. 
The Friends never call their places of worship churches. 
They call them meeting-houses. Although Fox, or any 
other person, had a legal right to speak in the state churches 
when the priest had finished, so long as the rules of de- 
cency and order were observed, his speeches often led to 
controversies with the priests and others, and this often 
led to his arrest and frequently to his imprisonment. But 
as soon as he was set at liberty he began again to speak 
in the state churches or wherever he could find an open 
door. No amount of persecution or suffering seemed to 
dampen his zeal or cool his ardor. Many spiritually 
minded persons who were dissatisfied with the formalism 
of the times began to rally around him, and soon Societies 
of Friends were formed all over the country. 

Notwithstanding all he suffered, Fox continued to ad- 
vance in his own Christian experience, although he some- 
times met with times of great temptation and triaf. He 
seems to have^ frequently had real visions and revelations 
from the Lord, similar to those of Savonarola. While in 
a sort of trance or ecstacy, he seemed to discern many 
deep spiritual truths. ''Great things did the Lord lead 
me into,'' says he, ''and wonderful depths were opened 
unto me." Among other things which he claimed the Lord 
revealed to him were the medical properties of many herbs. 
That he really understood the medicinal properties of some 
herbs seems to be borne out by the fact that so many 
cures were attributed to the Quaker remedies that they 
soon became famous. Like Savonarola, Fox seems to have 
had a number of future events revealed to him. Thus, in 
1664, he saw in vision the Lord's power checking the West- 
ward advance of the Turks. On several occasions, while 


on the tops of mountains or hills, he had a vision of places 
in the surrounding country where Friends Societies would 
be raised up, or where "believers would be gathered" to 
him. He had a presentiment of the death of Oliver Crom- 
well just before the great commoner was called from this 

A remarkable power seemed to accompany the preach- 
ing of Fox wherever he went, whether in Britain or Amer- 
ica, Germany, Holland, or the West Indies. He usually 
went about the country on foot, dressed in his famous suit 
of leather clothes, said to have been made by himself, and 
often sleeping out of doors or in some haystack. He was 
ridiculed and persecuted, beaten and stoned, arrested and 
imprisoned, more frequently perhaps than any other man, 
and yet the Lord seemed to greatly bless and own his 
labors. Describing his meetings at Ticknell, England, he 
says: "The priest scoffed at us and called us Quakers. 
But the Lord's power was so over them, and the word of 
life was declared in such authority and dread to them, that 
the priest began trembling himself ; and one of the people 
said, ' Look how the priest trembles and shakes, he is 
turned Quaker also/ " 

In describing his meetings, Fox often uses words simi- 
lar to the following: "And a precious meeting there was, 
wherein the Lord's power was over all; and the people 
were directed to the Spirit of God, by which they might 
come to know God and Christ, and understand the Scrip- 
tures aright," and so on. He also frequently uses words 
similar to the following : " Much work I had in those 
days, both with priests and people, concerning their old 
mass-houses, which they called their churches; for the 
priests had persuaded the people that it was the house of 
God; whereas the apostle says: 'Whose house are we,' 
etc (Heb. 3:8.) So the people are God's house, in whom 


He dwells. And the apostle saith, 'Christ purchased the 
church with His own blood:' and Christ calls His church 
His spouse, His bride, and the Lamb's wife: so that this 
title, church and spouse, was not given to an old house, 
but to His people, the true believers." 

Describing an occasion when he spoke in Carlisle, Fox 
says : " The power of the Lord was dreadful among them 
in the steeple-house, so that the people trembled and shook ; 
and some of them feared that it would fall down on their 
heads." Later, he says: "Now I went into the country, 
and had mighty great meetings. The everlasting gospel 
and word of life flourished, and thousands were turned to 
the Lord Jesus Christ, and to His teaching." At Sutton 
he spoke to a multitude of people. "A great convincement 
there was," says he, "and many hundreds were turned 
from darkness to the light," etc. Describing one of his 
meetings in another place, he says : " I stood a while be« 
fore I began to speak; after some time I felt the power 
of the Lord go over the whole assembly; and His ever- 
lasting truth and life shown over all." Thus he went 
from place to place in Britain and other lands preaching 
the gospel with wonderful unction and power. 

In spiritual matters Fox seems to have had a discern- 
ment far in advance of any other person of his day. Thus, 
while others were contending that the " body of sin " was 
the natural body, or body of flesh. Fox taught that the 
natural body was not the " body of sin " or we would not 
have been commanded to "* put it off." While others called 
the days of the week and the months of the year by the 
names derived from heathen gods (Sunday, Monday; and 
January, February, etc.), the Quakers rejected these pagan 
names and called the days, " First Day, Second Day," etc., 
and the months, " First Month, Second Month," etc. They 
waited for the Holy Spirit to move them to speak, sing; 


or pray; and if no one felt led of the Spirit to take part 
in the meeting, the meetings were spent in silence and 
prayer, and would break up without a word being spcrfcen. 
The early Friends did not use the titles Mr. and Mrs«, or 
Miss, but called each other by their given names, as though 
they were all members of one great family, as God's chil- 
dren truly are. Neither did they apply the title of Rev. 
to their ministers, or leaders, for they had no salaried min- 
isters. In their dress, manners, language, and every other 
way they displayed a commendable simplicity and avoided 
extravagance. They seem to have had great power in 
prayer. Fox tells of cases in which sick people were healed 
and devils cast out in answer to prayer. 

The great secret of Fox's own power was his faith in 
God. William Penn, the famous Quaker, wrote concern- 
ing him : " But above all, he excelled in prayer. The in- 
wardness and weight of his spirit, the reverence and solem- 
nity of his dress and behaviour, and the fewness and ful- 
ness of his words, have often struck even strangers, with 
admiration, and they used to reach others with consola- 
tion. The most awful, living, reverent frame I ever felt 
or beheld, I must say, was his in prayer." 

In his journal. Fox says: "The Lord had said unto 
me, 'If but one man or woman were raised up by His 
power, to stand and live in the same spirit that the apostles 
and prophets were in, who gave forth the Scriptures, that 
man or woman should shake all the country in their pro- 
fession for miles around.' " This proved to be more than 
true in his case. He started with scarcely any advantages, 
and soon influenced the whole world for God. Although he 
began his preaching with a limited education, without any 
special training and without special advantages of any kind, 
he soon had England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales ablaze 
for Gody and his influence was powerfully exerted in Amer- 


tea and other lands, and his followers are now numbered 
by the hundreds of thousands. Truly, in him we have an 
example of how God can use the weak things of the world 
to confound the mighty. 

In personal appearance Fox was a large man, with re- 
markably piercing eyes. His eyes pierced sinners so that 
they could hardly endure to have him look at them, and 
his words were " like a flash of lightning." A remark- 
able spirit of discernment seems to have been given to 
him; so that he seemed to be able to read the characters 
of men by looking at them. The character of one ap- 
peared like that of a fox, of another, like that of a wolf, 
a serpent, a lion, or a wasp; and so on. His judgment 
was so clear and his logic so convincing that he seems to 
have always been able to confound the judges and magis- 
trates before whom he was so frequently arraigned, al- 
though that fact did not save him from frequently going 
to prison for conscience sake. Even the Lord Chief Jus- 
tice of England and the great Protector, Oliver Cromwell, 
seem to have been impressed by his arguments against the 
persecution of the Friends; although it was a long time 
before they secured exemption from the army and from 
taking judicial oaths. 

The one great object of all George Fox's preaching 
and ministry was to turn the eyes of the people away from 
outward forms and ceremonies, and to direct them to the 
need of real holiness of heart and life. And such was 
also the real object of the ministry of Jesus. The entire 
Sermon on the Mount, all the parables of Jesus, and every 
word uttered by Him, was for the purpose of showing 
pec^le that mere outward forms and ceremonies, or out- 
ward works of any kind, would not save them. He taught 
them that they must be pure in heart, meek in spirit, that 
they must love God and their neighbor, or they would not 


enter the kingdom of heaven. Neither Christ nor the 
apostles esteemed good works lightly when they taught 
that the outward deeds of the law would not save; but 
their object was to show the people the real need of in- 
ward holiness. So the great mission of George Fox and 
the Quakers was not to depreciate outward forms and 
ceremonies so much as to emphasize the need of inward 
purity and righteousness. In doing this they may have 
set too light a value on the outward ordinances prescribed 
in the Scriptures, but they accomplished their main object 
so well that the world owes to them a very great debt of 
gratitude. In the writings of such eminent Friends as 
George Fox, William Penn, Robert Barclay, and others, 
may be found some of the most helpful spiritual teach- 
ings outside the Word of God, 

John Bunyan 


It is not to be wondered at that John Bunyan, the 
author of " Pilgrim's Progress," had a very deep inward 
experience of the grace of God. Without such an experi- 
ence an illiterate tinker would scarcely have been able to 
write the book which has had a greater circulation than 
any other book except the Bible. Next to the Bible, '' Pil- 
grim's Progress" is the world's most popular book. It 
has been translated into almost every important language, 
and adapted to the use of children as well as adults, and 
to the use of Roman Catholics as well as Protestants. 
*' Illustrious dreamer " that he was, John Bunyan did not 
dream all of his immortal allegory. '' Pilgrim's Progress " 
is almost as much his own experience as is "Grace Abound- 
ing." The struggles and triumphs of Christian in " Pil- 
grim's Progress" represent the real spiritual conflicts and 
conquests of Bunyan himself, on his way to the Celestial 
City ; and we will first trace the history of his spiritual ex- 
periences as recorded in "Pilgrim's Progress," and then 
as recorded in " Grace Abounding." 

In "Pilgrim's Progress" Christian is first seized with 
conviction. He then leaves the City of Destruction, strug- 
gles through the Slough of Despond, endeavors to find help 
at Mr. Legality's, and then enters the Wicket Gate, after 
which his burden rolls away at the foot of the Cross. 
After entering the Wicket Gate he is shown by Interpreter 
some of the things that he will meet with on lUs way to 


the Celestial City. " Then he took him by the hand," says 
the narrative, "and led him into a very large parlor that 
was full of dust, because never swept: the which after 
he had reviewed a little while, the Interpreter called for 
a man to sweep. Now, when he began to sweep, the dust 
began so abundantly to fly about, that Christian had al- 
most therewith been choked. Then said the Interpreter to 
a damsel that stood by, * Bring hither water, and sprinkle 
the room ;' the which when she had done, it was swept and 
cleansed with pleasure. 

" Then said Christian, * What meaneth this ?' 

"The Interpreter answered, 'This parlor is the heart 
of a man that was never sanctified by the sweet grace of 
the Gospel : the dust is the original sin, and inward corrup- 
tions, that have defiled the man. He that began to sweep 
at first is the Law; but she that brought water, and did 
sprinkle it, is the Gospel. Now, whereas thou sawest, that 
as soon as the first began to sweep, the dust did so fly about, 
that the room could not by him be cleansed, but that thou 
wast almost choked therewith: this, is to shew thee, that 
the law, instead of cleansing the heart (by its working; 
from sin, doth revive, put strength into, and increase it 
in the soul, even as it doth discover and forbid it; for it 
doth not give power to subdue. 

" 'Again, as thou sawest the damsel sprinkle the room 
with water, upon which it was cleansed with pleasure, this 
is to shew thee, that when the Gospel comes in the sweet 
and precious influences thereof to the heart, then I say, 
even as thou sawest the damsel lay the dust, by sprinkling 
the floor with water, so is sin vanquished and subdued, 
and the soul made clean, through the faith of it, and con- 
sequently fit for the King of Glory to mhabit.' " 

Again, Christian is shown by Interpreter that the fire 
of God's grace will "bum higher and hotter" in the 


human heart, no matter how much water Satan casts upon 
it, when the oil of grace (the Holy Spirit) is continually 
feeding the flame. This is shown by a fire which bums 
higher and hotter although a man (representing Satan) 
is constantly throwing water on it. The fire is next to a 
wall, and hidden by the wall is a man (representing the 
Holy Spirit) who is constantly feeding the fire with oil. 

When Christian leaves the house of Interpreter, the 
latter says, "The Comforter be always with thee, good 
Christian, to guide thee in the way that leads to the city !" 

During his pilgrimage Christian meets with many en- 
emies and difficulties, and with many friends and blessings. 
At length he reaches the Palace Beautiful, where he is 
much instructed in the things of God by Piety, Prudence, 
and Charity. He sleeps all night in the Chamber of Peace, 
and next morning gets a glimpse of Immanuel's Land. 
"When the morning was up, they had him to the top of 
the house, and bid him look south : so he did ; and behold, 
at a great distance, he saw a most pleasant mountainous 
country, beautified with woods, vineyards, fruits of all 
sorts, flowers also, with springs and fountains, very delec- 
table to behold. Then he asked the name of the country. 
They said it was Immanuel's Land. 'And it is as com- 
mon,' said they, 'as this hill is, to and for all Pilgrims; 
and when thou comest there, from thence thou niayest see 
to the gate of the Celestial City, as the shepherds that live 
there will make appear.'" Christian is very anxious to 
reach the beautiful land, and after they clothe him with 
armor he sets out upon his journey. 

Until he reaches the Palace Beautiful Christian has no 
armor or weapons, just as spiritual babes have not "put 
on the whole armor of God." But when he has courage 
enough to pass the great lions and enter the palace. Piety, 
Prudence, and Charity clothe him with armor from head 


to feet, just as they will lead other Christians to put on 
the full armor of God by being "filled with the Spirit." 
The narrative says, " The next day they took him, and 
had him into the Armory, where they showed him all man- 
ner of furniture, which the Lord had provided for Pil- 
grims, as sword, shield, helmet, breast-plate, all-prayer, 
and shoes that would not rear out. And there was. here 
enough of this to hames.«' as many men for the service 
of their Lord, as there be stars in heaven for multitude." 
Christian's departure is thus described : " Now he be- 
thought himself of setting forward, and they were will- 
ing he should. ' But first,' said they, ' let us go again into 
the Armory ' so they did, and when he came there, they 
harnessed him from head to foot, with what was proof, 
lest perhaps he should meet with assaults in the way." It 
was well that they did so, for Christian had many con- 
flicts awaiting him, and he would scarcely have reached 
the Celestial City had he not been clad in spiritual armor 
at the Palace Beautiful. As it was, he was almost slain 
in his great battle with ApoUyon. 

After many trials and conflicts Christian arrives at 
Vanity Fair, through which all pilgrims must pass on their 
way to the Celestial City. Here the worldly people 
did not understand Christian and his friend Faithful. "And 
as they wondered at their apparel, so they did likewise at 
their speech; for few could understand what they said, 
they naturally spoke the language of Canaan, but they that 
kept the Fair were rresa of this world." The merchants 
of Vanity Fair are tmeatly amused as well as displeased 
because "the Pilgrims set very light by all their wares, 
they cared not so much as to look upon them." This 
causes a mighty uproar among the people of Vanity Fair, 
and the Great One of the Fair has the pilgrims arrested 
AJk their trial Christian and Faithful state that " they were 


pilgrims and strangers in the world, and that they were 
going to their own country, which was heavenly Jerusa- 
lem/' The men of Vanity Fair conclude that they are in- 
sane, and shut them up in an iron cage, but their peace- 
able and pious behavior wins friends for them even in 
Vanity Fair. These friends try to stop the baser men from 
persecuting the pilgrims, and tell them that there are many 
wicked men who ought to be punished instead of these 
pilgrims. A quarrel ensues, and the two pilgrims are 
blamed for the disturbance. A second trial takes place, 
before Judge Hategood. Envy testifies that Faithful " doth 
all he can to possess all men with certain of his disloyal 
notions, which he, in general, galls principles of holiness. 
And, in particular, I heard him once myself afErm, that 
Christianity and the customs of our town of Vanity were 
diametrically opposite, and could not be reconciled." Su- 
perstition also witnesses against him; and finally Pick- 
thank testifies, among other things, that Faithful "hath 
railed on our noble Prince Beelzebub, and hath spoken con- 
temptibly of his honorable friends, whose names are the 
Lord Oldman, the Lord Carnal Delight, the Lord Luxuri- 
ous, the Lord Desire of Vain Glory, my old Lord Letchery, 
Sir Having Greedy, with all the rest of the nobility." 
Faithful is condemned to death by the jury, whose names 
are Mr. Blindman, Mr. No-good, Mr. Malice, Mr. Love- 
lust, Mr. Live-loose, Mr. Heady, Mr. High-mind, Mr. En- 
mity, Mr. Liar, Mr. Cruelty, Mr. Hate-light, and Mr. Im- 

Christian escapes, and continuing on his way is joined 
by Hopeful. They are led aside by Vain-confidence, and 
leave the King's highway, or "the Way of Holiness," as 
Bunyan calls it in his description of the encounter be- 
tween Christian and ApoUyon. Giant Despair seizes them, 
and throws them into the dungeon of Doubting Castle. 


where they aknost perish. But Christian finally opens the 
prison door with the key of Promise, and he and Hopeful 
find their way back to the King's highway. They continue 
their journey and soon reach the Delectable Mountains, 
where they enjoy the richest blessings of Lnmanuel's Land. 
From these mountains they obtain a glimpse of the Celes- 
tial City. They eat and drink freely of the best that ^* the 
gardens and orchards, the vineyards and fountains of wa- 
ter" afford. Greatly refreshed, they continue their journey. 
After traveling for some time in the highway, they are again 
led aside, and snared in the net of Flatterer. A Shining One 
delivers them, and leads them back to the narrow way. 

Journeying on their way they enter Beulah-land, in 
which country they continue to the end of their pilgrimage. 
Bunyan describes the Beulah-land experience in the fol- 
lowing words : " Now I saw in my dream, that by this time 
the Pilgrims were got over the Enchanted Ground, and 
entering into the country of Beulah (Isa. 62:4), whose 
air was very sweet and pleasant, the way lying directly 
through it, they solaced themselves there for a season ; yea, 
here they heard continually the singing of the birds, and 
saw every day the flowers appear in the earth, and heard 
the voice of the turtle in the land (Cant. 2: 12). In this 
country the sun shineth night and day ; wherefore this was 
beyond the Valley of the Shadow of Deaith, and also out 
of the reach of Giant Despair; neither could they from 
this place so mudh as see Doubting^castle. Here they were 
within sight of the City they were going to; also here 
they met some of the inhabitants thereof; for in this land 
the Shining Ones commonly walked, because it was on 
the borders of Heaven. In this land also the contract be- 
tween the bride, and the bridegroom was renewed; yea, 
here, ' as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so doth 


fheir God rejoice over them ' (Isa. 62: 5). Here they had 
no want of com and wine; for in this place they met with 
abundance of what they had sought for in all their pil- 
grimage (Isa. 62:8, 9). Here they heard voices from 
out of the city ; loud voices, saying, ' Say ye to the daugh- 
ter of Zion, Behold thy salvation cometh, behold his re- 
ward is with himT (Isa. 62:11, 12). Here all the in- 
habitants of the country called them * tiie holy people, the 
redeemed of the Lord; sought out,' etc. 

*' Now as tiiey walked in this land they had more re- 
joicing than in parts more remote from the kingdom to 
which they were bound; and drawing near the City they 
had yet a more perfect view thereof. It was builded of 
pearls and precious stones, also the streets thereof were 
paved with gold; so that, by reason of the natural glory 
of the dty, and the reflection of the sun-beams upon it, 
Christian with desire fell sick. Hopeful also had a fit or 
two of the same disease; wherefore here they lay by it a 
while, crying out, because of their pangs, ' If you see my 
beloved, tell him tiiat I am sick of love.' 

''But being a little strengthened, and better able to 
bear their sickness, they walked on their way, and came 
yet nearer and nearer, where were orchards, vineyards, and 
gardens, and their gates opened into the highway. Now, 
as they came up to these places, behold the Gardener stood 
in the way; to whom the Pilgrims said, 'Whose goodly 
vineyards and gardens are these?' He answered, 'They 
are the King's, and are planted here for His own delight, 
and also for tiie solace of Pilgrims.' So the Gardener had 
them into the vineyards, and bid them refresh themselves 
with the dainties (Deut. 23:24), he also showed them 
there the King's walks and the arbours where He de- 
lighted to be ; and there they tarried and slept 


" Now I beheld in my dream that they talked more m 
their sleep at this time, than ever they did in all their 
journey; and being in a muse thereabout, the Gardener 
said even to me, 'Wherefore musest thou at the matter? 
It is the nature of the fruit of the grapes of these vine- 
yards to go down so sweetly, as to cause the lips of them 
that are asleep to speak (Cant. 7:9). 

" So I saw that, when they awoke, they addressed 
themselves to go up to the City. But, as I said, the re- 
flection of the sun upon the city (for the City was pure 
gold, Rev. 21:28) was so extremely glorious, that they 
could not, as yet, with open face, behold it, but through 
an instrument made for the purpose (2 Cor. 3:18). So 
I saw that, as they went on, there met them two men in 
raiment that shone like gold, also their faces shone as the 
light. These angels accompanied the Pilgrims (because of 
their faith) until they reached the river of Death and 
crossed it to the Celestial City." 

Having traced the deeper spiritual experiences of Bun- 
yan in allegory, as related in "Pilgrim's Progress," we 
will briefly state in plain words how his burden rolled away 
at the foot of the cross, and how he reached a Beulah-land 

He was bom in the village of Elstow, England, in 1628 ; 
" of a low inconsiderable generation," to use his own words. 
He probably refers to the fact that he was bcm and bred 
to the profession of a tinker, or mender of pots and ket- 
tles, as was his faither before him. This profession, in 
those days, was carried on principally by Gypsies, and for 
that reason some have supposed that Bunyan was of Gypsy 
descent. He received some schooling when a boy, but 
claims to have forgotten most of it before his conversion. 


He served his apprenticeship and learned his trade in Bed- 
ford. His parents seem to have given him religious coun- 
sel and advice, but he was a very wicked boy. He says, 
" I had but few equals, (especially considering my years, 
which were tender, being few) both for cursing, swear- 
ing, lying, and blaspheming the name of God. 

** Yea, so settled and rooted was I in these things, that 
they became a second nature to me. The which, as I also 
have with soberness considered since, did so offend the 
Lord, that even in my childhood He did scare and affright 
me with fearful dreams, and did terrify me with dreadful 
visions. For often after I had spent this and the other 
day in sin I have in my bed been greatly afflicted while 
asleep, with the apprehensions of devils and wicked spirits, 
who still, as I then thought, laboured to draw me away 
with them; of which I could never be rid." Thoughts 
about hell and the judgment day also greatly troubled him. 
"These things," he says, "when I was but a child, but nine 
or ten years old, did so distress my soul, that then in the 
midst of my many sports and diildish vanities, amidst my 
vain companions, I was often much cast down and afflicted 
in my mind therewith, yet could I not let go sins." 

Later, he says: "A while after these terrible dreams 
did leave me, which also I soon forgot; for my pleasures 
did quickly cut off the remembrance of them, as if they 
had never been. Wherefore with more greediness, ac- 
cording to the strength of nature, I did set loose the reins 
to my lust, and delighted in all transgression against the 
law of God ; so that, until I came to the state of marriage, 
I was tiie very ringleader of all the youth that kept me 
company, in all manner of vice and tmgodliness." De- 
scribing this period of his life, he also says, " In these 

days, the thoughts of religion were grievous to me. I 


could neither endure it myself, nor that any other should." 
But he did not like to see professed Christians sin. *' Yet 
this I well remember," says he, " that though I could my- 
self sin with the greatest delight and ease, and also take 
pleasure in the vileness of my companions ; yet, even then, 
if I have at any time seen wicked things by those who 
professed godliness, it would make my spirit tremble." 

Twice he barely escaped drowning, once he came very 
nearly being bit by a poison adder, and a man who took 
his place in the army was killed while on sentinel duty; 
but God mercifully preserved Bunyan's life. "Here," 
says he, " were judgments and mercy, but neither of them 
did awaken my soul to righteousness ; wherefore I sinned 
still, and grew more and more rebellious against God, and 
careless of mine own salvation. 

" Presently after this (when he was about twenty years 
of age), I changed my condition into a married state; and 
my mercy was to light upon a wife, whose father was 
counted godly. This woman and I, though we came to- 
gether as poor as poor might be (not having so much 
household stuff as a dish or a spoon betwixt us both), yet 
this she had for her part. The Plain Man's Pathway to 
Heaven, and The Practice of Piety, which her father had 
left her when he died. In these books I should sometimes 
read with her, wherein I also found some things that were 
somewhat pleasing to me; (but all diis while I met with 
no conviction). She also would be often telling of me, 
what a godly man her father was, etc. Wherefore these 
books with this relation, though they (lid not reach my 
heart to awaken it about my soul and sinful state, yet 
they did beget widiin me some desires to religion ; so that, 
because I knew no better, I fell in very eagerly with the re- 
ligion of the times ; to wit, to go to Qiurch twice a day, and 


that too with the foremost ; and there should very devoutly 
say and sing as others did, yet retaining my wicked life/' At 
this time he had great reverence for the clergy, their vest- 
ments, the Liturgy, and all that belonged to the worship 
of the Church of England. " But all this while," says he, 
'* I was not sensible of the danger and evil of sin. I was 
kept from considering that sin would damn me, what re* 
ligion soever I followed, unless I was found in Christ." 
Finally, his pastor preached a sermon against the popular 
sins and vices with their fearful consequences, which 
awakened Bunyan's conscience for the first time to the evil 
nature of sin. But, on retuminjg home, he soon forgot 
the sermon. " I shook the sermon out of my mind," says 
he, ''and to my old custom of sports and gaming I re- 
turned with great delight." The same Sunday, however, 
while he was playing a game of cat, the conviction re- 
turned with such power that he stood still for a while be- 
fore all the players, none of whom knew what was pass-^ 
ing in his mind. After a few minutes spent in silent 
thought, he concluded that he had gone too far in sin to 
ever find salvation, and he determined to get what com- 
fort he could out of sin. He says, " Now therefore I went 
on in sin with great greediness of mind, still grudging that 
I could not be satisfied with it as I would. But one day, 
as I was standing in a neighbour's shop-window, and there 
cursing and swearing, and playing the madman, after my 
wonted manner, there sat within the woman of the house 
and heard me; who though she was a very loose and un- 
godly wretch, yet protested that I swore and cursed at that 
most fearful rate, that she was made to tremble to hear 
me ; and told me further, That I was the ungodliest fellow 
for swearing that ever she heard in all her life; and that I, 
by thus doing, was able to spoil all the youth in a whole 


town, if they came in my company/' This well-merited 
rebuke had a sobering influence on Bunyan. He left off 
swearing, and a friend's conversation led him to read the 
Bible. This led to some outward reformation, and then 
he imagined that he '' pleased G!od as well as any man in 
England." Even his dancing was given up, and for about 
a year he continued to live a better outward life, to the 
great surprise of his neighbors; but he had not yet found 
peace and rest and joy through faith in Christ. " But upon 
a day the good providence of God did cast me to Bedford, 
to work upon my calling;" says he, ''and in one of the 
streets of that town, I came where there were three or four 
poor women sitting at a door in the sun, and talking about 
the things of God." These three women are described 
in " Pilgrim's Progress " under the allegory of the three 
princesses at the Palace Beautiful. Bunyan's conversations 
with them opened his eyes to see that he had been trust- 
ing in his own outward works for salvation instead of in 
the Lord Jesus Christ. He saw that these poor women 
were basking in the sun on the mountain top of Christian 
experience, while he was " shivering and shrinking in the 
cold, afflicted with frost, snow and dark clouds." He now 
tried to look to Christ for salvation, but like Lorenzo Dow 
and many others was plunged into fearful despondency and 
despair by the thought that he might not be one of God's 
elect. He imagined that God had reprobated him to be lost ; 
and for weeks and months he was in so great agony that he 
could scarcely endure it. The three Christian women he 
had met introduced him to Mr. Gifford, the Baptist min- 
ister in the place. Mr. Gifford took a great interest in him, 
but probably never dreamed that Bunyan would be his 
successor. Mr. Gifford, no doubt, is the Evangelist of 
"Pilgrim's Progress," who points Christian to the wicket 


gate; tmt Bunyan was for a whole year in the Slough of 
Despond before he finally reached the wicket gate, and be- 
fore his burden rolled away at the foot of the cross. Dur- 
ing that time, although he was in awful despair, his con- 
science was so tender with regard to sin that he 'Murst 
not take a pin, or a stick, though but so big as a straw," 
or do the least thing that he considered wrong. But the 
thought that he was reprobated to be lost made him wish 
that he had never been bom. 

He found peace and joy in Christ one evening as he 
sat by the fireside, musing on his miserable condition. The 
Lord brought Hebrews 2: 14, 15 vividly to his mind. "I 
thought," says he, '' that the glory of these words was then 
so weighty on me that I was, both once and twice, ready 
to swoon away; yet not with grief and trouble, but with 
solid joy and peace." Later on he says, *' But, oh ! now, 
how was my soul led from truth to truth by God! Even 
from the birth and cradle of the Son of God to His 
ascension and second coming from heaven to judge the 
world." His love for Christ now seemed to bum as " hot 
as fire." After continuing for some time to enjoy peace 
and rest of soul, he had a great conflict, represented by 
the fight with Apoll)ryon in Pilgrim's Progress. Tempta- 
tions to sell Christ for trifles came into his mind, and he 
imagined that he had actually yielded to them, and that 
Christ had forsaken him. " Nothing now for two years 
together would abide with me but damnation and an ex- 
pectation of damnation," says he. He felt that he had com- 
mitted a worse sin than David, or Judas, or Peter, and 
that he had sinned against the Holy Ghost. So great was 
his despair, he found it hard to pray. "Then I was 
struck into a very great trembling," says he, "insomuch 
that at sometimes I could, for whole days together, fec^ 


my very body, as well as my mind, to shake and totter 
under the sense of die dreadful judgment of God, that 
should fall on those who have sinned that most fearful and 
unpardonable sin. I felt such a clogging and heat at my 
stomach, by reason of this my terror, that I was especially 
at some times, as if my breast bone would have split 
asunder." But with "the sword of the Spirit, which is 
the word of God," he at last gave Satan such a deadly 
thrust that he left him. Like Job, Paul, Madam Guyon, 
and others, Bunyan went through fiery trials; and then 
the Scriptures, "I have loved thee with an everlasting 
love," " The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth from 
all sin," and " My grace is sufficient for thee," brought 
sweet peace to his soul^ 

Bunyan's complete deliverance from his dreadful doubts 
and despair came one day while he was passing through 
a field. Suddenly the sentence fell upon his soul, '" Thy 
righteousness is in heaven/' By the eye of faith he seemed 
to see Jesus, his righteousness, at God's right hand. He 
says, " Now did my chains fall off my legs indeed ; I was 
loosed from my afflictions and irons; my temptations also 
fled away; so that, from that time, tl'^ose dreadful Script- 
ures of God left off to trouble me! now went I also home 
rejoicing, for the grace and love of God." On reaching 
home he tried to find the text, ''Thy righteousness is in 
heaven," and was somewhat discouraged to find that it was 
not in the Scriptures. But his joy was restored and deep-: 
ened when he found the similar text, *' But of him are ye 
in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and 
righteousness, and sanctlfication, and redemption." (i Con 

Bunyan still had many conflicts and trials, but after 
the above experience he seems to have been passing through 



Beulah Land. Sometimes he was so overwhelmed with the 
sense of God's grace and power that he could hardly bear 
up under it He soon began to preach in little meetings, 
and people were deeply convicted of sin and wept tears 
of penitence. The Lord gave him " an awakening word," 
and so many were brought to Qirist under his preaching 
that he was astonished that the Lord should thus use him. 
He became very famous as a preacher, but his plain speak- 
ing roused mudi opposition. The story of his twelve years' 
imprisonment for holding meetings separate from the Es- 
tablished Qiurch of England, and of the writing of his 
famous books while in prison, does not belong to a nar- 
rative of this kind. He had only the Bible and Fox's 
Book of Martyrs" with him in prison when he wrote 
Pilgrim's Progress." He was frequently allowed his lib- 
erty, and sometimes used it in preaching the Gospel. After 
his release he traveled and preached in many places, and 
was so popular that he was nicknamed ''Bishop Bunyan." 
King Charles was surprised that the learned Dr. Owen 
would go to hear " an illiterate tinker " preach. " I would 
gladly give up all my learning for that tinker's power of 
preaching," said Dr. Owen. Being told one time that he had 
preached a grand sermon, Bunyan replied, " Aye, you have 
no need to tell me that; for the devil whispered it to me 
before I was well out of the pulpit." He became one of 
England's most famous men; but in the midst of his re- 
ligious activity he was smitten with a fever while on an 
errand of mercy, and died August 31, 1688. He was 
buried in Bunhill Fields, London's famous Non-Conform- 
ist cemetery, where tens of thousands of people have 
visited his grave. 

Lordt I Come Pleading. 

1. Lord. 1 coma pleiding And pray-ing (o thee, Seek-mg mI - ta-tiooio 

2. OUd*ly I give Tboe Df will And my all; Self and poa-aetHiooi ara 

3. Coma.bleiied 8pir-it.aiid dweO Tboo with-in, 8aac • ti - (f .purge me. aod 

4. I am be«lief-iBg — by faith I cao aee Tboo beat ac-eept-ed my 

foQ and io free, Hoag'riog and thint-iiig Thy fol • oeei (o know, 
Thme at Thy call; Wber-e*er Thy Spir • it doth lead I wouki go; 
deauemefromiiii; Grant me for aerv ice the pow*r irom on high. 
off**riog to Thee; Sweet • It I rest hi Thine in-fb-ite lore. 

Waah me and I ihaD be whit • er than now, 

Lord, now Thy fol • new of bleei-higi be • stow. Lord I come 

Lord, to the work! aod the flesh let me die. 

Peaee now comes in like a beaf-«o • Ij dote. 

■a •»« • unrnwrn* - •/ uvvv. ^ 


Ffom <*Grcat Eevtral Hyant.' 

^ffffp-tf7:f:p 3 l 

John Wesubt 


The life and teachings of John Wesley, the famous 
founder of Methodism, have probably had a greater influ- 
ence than those of any other man since the days of the 
apostles in deepening the spiritual life of tfie present time. 
The Introduction to the Methodist book of Discipline states 
that Methodism was raised up under God " for the spread 
of Scriptural holiness." Like a mighty conflagration it 
swept over the world until in less than two centuries it 
nmabered more adherents than almost any other Protes- 
tant church. The secret of its success was partly owing to 
the fact that its theology presented a less fatalistic view 
of salvation than did that of the Old School Calvinism so 
common among other Protestant denominations; but it 
probably owed its success still more to the deep spiritual 
experiences of the Wesleys and the other early Methodist 
preachers, many of whom were so anointed with the Holy 
Spirit's power that multitudes were brought under convic- 
tion of sin while listening to their earnest sermons and ex- 
hortations. People often trembled and shook, and many 
were even stricken down in the meetings, under the over- 
whelming sense of their sins received under the preaching 
of these men of God. 

Wesley's great-grandfather his grand-father, and his 
father were all clergymen in the Church of England, in 



which church Wesley was himself an ordained minister 
and remained such until his death, the Methodist Societies 
in Britain not having become an independent church until 
1791, or two years after he died. Susannah Wesley, the 
mother of John and Charles Wesley, was the daughter of 
the great Dr. Annesley, the " St. Paul of Non-Conformity." 
Her grandfather, as well as her father, were ministers of 
the gospel, and she was herself famous for her piety and 
prudence. John Wesley was bom at Epworth, in Lincoln- 
shire, England, on June 17, 1703, and was the fifteenth in 
a family of nineteen children, of whom only ten survived 
the period of infancy. At the age of six John himself was 
barely rescued from the flames when his father's rectory 
burned down. 

Wesley's mother was very careful in the training of 
the children, and they were all brought up '' in the nurture 
and admonition of the Lord." They also received a good 
secular education. John was educated at the Charter 
House School, in London, until he was seventeen years of 
age, at which time he was sent to Christ Church College, 
Oxford University. He was a diligent student and made 
great progress in his studies. At the age of twenty-three 
his accomplishments in the classics were so great that he 
was elected Fellow of Lincoln College, and was also chosen 
as moderator of classes, and the following year he was 
made a Master of Arts. Before leaving Oxford Univer- 
sity he seems to have become proficient in Latin, Greek, 
Hebrew, French, and logic, and he afterwards obtained a 
knowledge of German. 

Wesley followed the pious advice of his father and 
mother until after he was ten years of age, without con- 
sciously disobeying them in any way. "The next six or 
seven years were spent at school/' says he. " where, out- 


ward restraints being removed, I was much more negligent 
than before, even to outward duties, and ahnost continu- 
ally guilty of outward sins, which I knew to be such, 
though they were not scandalous in the eyes of the world. 
However, I still read the Scriptures, and said my prayers, 
morning and evening." He relied for salvation on these 
outward acts, and on church-going, and also on the fact 
that he was not as bad as others. After going to Oxford, 
for about five years, he constantly did things that he knew 
were sinful in the sight of God; but he still continued to 
pray, read his Bible, and go to church. At about twenty- 
two years of age his eyes were opened to some extent by 
reading the works of Thomas a Kempis, and he b^[an to 
see that true religion had to do with the heart, and not 
with outward actions only. ''I was, however, angry at 
Kempis for being too strict," says he. But he also says: 
''Yet I frequently had much sensible comfort in reading 
him, such as I was an utter stranger to before ; and meet- 
ing likewise with a religious friend, which I never had till 
now, I b^ian to alter the whole form of my conversation, 
and to set in earnest upon a new life." Dr. Taylor's book, 
" Holy Living and Dying," made a still deeper impression 
upon him, and his life became a very sincere one. 

Wesley's friends now urged him to be ordained, and 
in 1725, in his twenty-second year, after much prayer and 
consideration, he was ordained by Bishop Potter. In 1727 
he read Mr. Law's "Christian Perfection" and "Serious 
Call," and these books made him resolve more than ever 
to be wholly the Lord's. The writings of Mr. Law seem 
to have influenced his life more than any other writings 
outside the Scriptures, just as the works of Aquinas influ- 
enced the life of Savonarola. It was probably Mr. Law's 
books, more than any other human cause, which led Wes- 


ley to start the Methodist Societies. In a letter to Mr. 
Morgan, written in later years, he thus describes the found- 
ing of the first Methodist Society : " In November, 1729, 
at which time I came to reside at Oxford, your son, my 
brother, myself and one more, agreed to spend three or 
four evenings a week together. Our design was to read 
over the classics, which we had before read in private on 
common nights, and on Simday some book on divinity. In 
the summer following Mr. M. told me he had called at a 
gaol, to see a man who was condemned for killing his wife ; 
and that, from a talk he had with one of the debtors, he 
verily believed it would do much good, if any one would 
be at the pains of now and then speaking with them. This 
he so frequently repeated, that on the 24th of August, 1730, 
my brother and I walked with him to the castle. We 
were so well satisfied with our conversation there, that 
we agreed to go thither once or twice a week; which we 
had not done long, before he desired me to go with him 
to see a poor woman in the town who was sick. In this 
employment too, when we came to reflect upon it, we be- 
lieved it would be worth while to spend an hour or two 
in a week, provided the minister of the parish, in which 
such persons were, were not against it." In this humble 
manner the first Methodist society was formed, and the 
great founder of Methodism was thus led to engage in 
active Qiristian service. The society thus formed increased 
in numbers, and when Whitefield joined them there were 
fifteen members. They soon earned the nickname of the 
" Holy Qub," and finally of " Methodists." It is remark- 
able that God brought together in this little group two of 
the world's greatest preachers and one of the greatest 
hymn-writers — John Wesley, George Whitefield, and 


Charles Wesley. The society continued its good work un- 
til 1735, when Wesley left the University. 

In 1735 John and Qiarles Wesley sailed for America, 
intending to become missionaries to the American Indians. 
On the vessel were a number of Moravian missionaries, and 
their pious conduct so deeply impressed Wesley that he 
began to study German so that he would be able to con- 
verse with them. A great storm arose, and while the Eng- 
lish were screaming and in great distress, and Wesley's 
heart failed him, the Moravians calmly and joyfully united 
in prayer and praise. Conversations with these godly 
people during the voyage, and in Georgia, led the Wesleys 
to doubt their own conversion to Christ. 

The Wesleys seem to have accomplished very little in 
Georgia. They tried to bring the people to their own high 
standard of living, and preached against the popular sins 
with such directness and personality as to provoke much 
opposition, and they finally deemed it wise to return to 
England. Charles returned first and John soon followed. 
He says: "I shook oflf the dust of my feet, and left Georgia, 
after having preached the gospel there (not as I ought, but 
as I was able) one year and nearly nine months." Dur- 
ing the voyage home, he wrote, " I went to America to 
convert the Indians ; but oh ! who shall convert me I " He 
reached England the day after Whitefield sailed for Amer- 
ica. He preached in England in many places, but the re- 
sults, as a rule, were not remarkable or encouraging. Much 
opposition was provoked and but little blessing seemed 
to attend his preaching. He conversed much with Peter 
Bohler and other Moravians, and was surprised when they 
proved to him that almost all the conversions to Christ 
mentioned in the Bible were instantaneous. He now be- 
gan to see that people do not grow into salvation, but that 


they are justified by faith the moment fhey believe in the 
Lord Jesus Christ. It was from the Moravians that the 
Methodists learned the doctrine of instantaneous conver- 
sion, regeneration, or justification by faith. At first Charles 
Wesley opposed what he called "the new doctrine," but 
he was soon convinced of. his error, and in May, 1738, 
through simple faith in Christ, he found a joy he had never 
known before. The news that Charles bad obtained joy 
and peace in believing greatly deepened John Wesley's 
desire for a real assurance of salvation. After a ten years' 
struggle to find peace and rest in Christ, the light began 
to dawn upon him on May 24, 1738. In the morning of 
that day his eyes fell upon 2 Peter 1 4, and then on the 
words, "Thou art not far from the kingdom of God." 
During the day he was on the vei:ge of receiving rest and 
joy through faith in Christ. "In the evening," says he, 
" I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate Street, 
where one was reading Luther's preface to the Romans. 
About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the 
change God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I 
felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in 
Christ alone, for salvation; and an assurance was given 
me, that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and 
saved me from the law of sin and death." 

The same year that he obtained this blessing through 
faith in Christ, he visited the Moravian settlement of 
Hernhuth, on Count Zinzendorf 's estate, in Germany. This 
visit greatly strengthened his faith, and he returned to 
England to preach with a new zeal, the doctrine of in- 
stantaneous conversion and justification through faith in 
Christ. Many were now converted to Christ in his meet- 
ings almost everywhere that he went. 

We learn from his Journal of October 151 1738, and 


again from the entry made on October 3 of the same year, 
that Wesley had a great longing for a still deeper ex- 
perience. " I was asking/' he says in the latter entry, '' that 
God would fulfil all His promises in my own soul/' etc. 
His longings seem to have been satisfied, in a measure at 
least, in a memorable love feast in London, when he and 
Whitefield and other prominent Methodist ministers were 
present at a union meeting of the Methodist societies. 
Describing this meeting in his Journal, Wesley says: 
"'Monday, January i, 1739. Mr. Hall, Kinchin, Ingham, 
Whitefield, Hutchins, and my brother Charles were pres- 
ent at our lovefeast in Fetterslane, with about sixty of 
our brethren. About three in the morning, as we were 
continuing instant in prayer, the power of God came 
mightily upon us, insomuch that many cried out for ex- 
ceeding joy, and many fell to the ground. As soon as we 
recovered a little from the awe and amazement at the 
presence of His majesty, we broke out with one voice, * We 
praise Thee, O God, we acknowledge Thee to be the 
Lord.' " 

Wesley must have received a powerful anointing of 
the Spmt at the time mentioned above, as after the ex- 
perience described he seems to have preached with greater 
unction and power. The Methodist societies now hegsai 
to multiply rapidly, many souls being converted to God. 
The State Churches were closing rapidly against the Meth- 
odists, when Whitefield heg^n to preach to gigantic audi- 
ences in the open air at Bristol. He had returned from 
America in 1739, and was now working in harmony with 
the Wesleys. After continuing in Bristol for some time, 
he desired John Wesley to come and take the work there 
off his hands so that he could go elsewhere. After seeking 

to know the Lord's will in the matter, Wesley complied 


with his request. Staid Churchman that he was, he had 
many misgivings about the propriety of preaching in the 
open air; but when he saw Whit^eld preaching to the 
great muhitudes in the open air at Bristol, his prejudices 
gradually melted away. He says, " I could scarce recon- 
cile myself at first to this strange way of preaching in the 
fields, of which he (Whitefidd) set me an example on Sun- 
day; having been all my life (till very lately) so tenacious 
of every point relating to decency and order, that I should 
have thought the saving of souls almost a sin, if it had not 
been done in a church." 

It was only after witnessing the marvellous results at^ 
tending Whitefield's preaching; in the open air that Wes- 
ley b^[an to speak in open-air meetings, but he soon be- 
came famous as an open-air preacher. Until the day of 
his death he exercised the greatest care to have everything 
'' done decendy and in order," and to avoid all fleshly ex- 
citements, hallucinations, and delusions; but on the other 
hand he was careful to encourage every genuine work of 
the Holy Spirit. '' Quench not the Spirit " was to him a 
solemn warning which he scrupulously and conscientiously 
tried to follow. 

Wesley preached for some time in Bristol, to immense 
audiences sometimes numbering many thousands of people. 
His open-air meetings were as large, if not larger, than 
those of Whitefield. Powerful conviction of sin rested 
upon the people, and multitudes turned to Christ Three 
weeks after the remarkable love-feast experience in Lon- 
don, while Wesley was preaching in Bristol, ''a well- 
dressed, middle-aged woman suddenly cried out, as in the 
agonies of death. She continued to do so for some ^mt^ 
says Wesley, "with all the signs of the sharpest anguisbi 
of spirit." She was finally able to *^ rejoice in the Lord, 


and joy in the God of her salvation." On April 17, 1739^ 
there was another remarable case of coviction of sin, in 
Bristol. Wesley had just expounded Acts 4, on the power 
of the Holy Spirit. "We then called upon God to con- 
firm His Word/' says lie. " Immediately one that stood 
by (to our no small surprise) cried out aloud, with the 
utmost vehemence, even as the agonies of death. But we 
continued in prayer, till * a new song was put in her mouthy 
a tfianksgiving unto our God.' Soon after, two other per- 
sons (well known in this place, as laboring to live in all 
good conscience towards all men) were seized with strong 
pain, and constrained to roar for the disquietness of their 
heart.'' These also found peace. Many other wonderful 
cases of conviction of sin attended Wesley's preaching. 
It was a frequent occurrence for people to cry aloud or 
fall down as if dead in the meetings, so great was their 
anguish of heart, caused, no doubt, by the Holy Spirit 
convicting them of sin. It is a well known fact that great 
and sudden emotion of any kind will often cause people 
to faint away. This fact doubtless accounts for people 
dropping down as if dead in revival and other meetings. 
The sudden realization of the enormity of their sins and 
of the doom of the impenitent, when the Spirit of God 
convicts them of sin, is so great that it absorbs all their 
mental faculties and they lose control of themselves and 
faint away. Instances of this kind were frequently re- 
corded by Wesley. On April 21, 1739, at Weavers Hall, 
Bristol, " a young man was suddenly seized with a violent 
trembling all over, and, in a few minutes, the sorrows of 
his heart being enlarged, sunk down to the ground." He 
also found peace. On the 25th day of the same months 
while Wesley was preaching, "Immediately one, and an- 


other, and another sunk to the earth ; they dropped on every 
side as if thunderstruck." 

Day after day Wesley preached to immense audiences 
in Bristol and Bath and suburbs of those cities. He then 
went to other places, preaching with the same unction and 
power, and many Methodist societies sprang up as a result 
of his and Whitefield's preaching. Many found fault with 
the outcries of those brought under conviction of sin. De- 
scribing one meeting, Wesley says : " My voice could scarce 
be heard amidst the groanings of scmie, and the cries of 
others, calling aloud to ' Him that is mighty to save.' " He 
says, " A Quaker who stood by, was not a little displeased 
at the dissimulation of these creatures, and was biting his 
lips and knitting his brows, when he dropped down as 
thunder-struck.'' Next day, in a little prayer-meeting, 
" Just as we rose from giving thanks," says Wesley, " an- 
other person reeled four or five steps, and then dropped 

down." A certain J H , a zealous Episcopalian, 

opposed the Methodists in every way possible, and went 
to his acquaintances persuading them that people falling in 
the meetings and crying out in agony was '' a delusion of 
the Devil." While sitting at the table one day, " he changed 
color, fell off his chair, and began screaming terribly, and 
beating himself against the ground." 

Almost everywhere that Wesley went people were 
stricken down in his meetings in the manner already de- 
scribed, but these cases were the exception, and they usu- 
ally found peace in Christ when prayed for. Most of the 
people had never heard such pointed and powerful preach- 
ing as Wesley's and the suddenness with which they were 
brought face to face with their sinful and lost condition 
probably had much to do with the fact that many of them 
swooned away or cried out in agony. People who had en- 


tertained £alse hopes of salvation had the masks torn away 
by the plain preaching of Wesley, and were stricken with 
great agony until they found peace with God. In one 
place where he was preaching, the Lord began to make 
bare His arm, and, "One and another, and another was 
struck to the earth; exceedingly trembling at the presence 
of His power. Others cried with a loud and bitter cry, 
' What must we do to be saved ? ' " The same evening, 
while Wesley was preaching, a man cried out in agony of 
soul. Soon after, "Another person dropped down close 
to one who was a strong asserter of the contrary doctrine. 
While he stood astonished at the sight, a little boy near him 
was seized in the same manner. A young man, who stood 
up behind, fixed his eyes on him, and sunk down himself 
as one dead.'' 

The plain and fearless preaching of Wesley caused 
much opposition, and he was often mobbed smd came near 
losing his life. But in the meetings, " The power of God 
came with His word ; so that none scoffed, or interrupted, 
or opened his mouth.'' The scoffing and persecution came 
from those who had never been in the meetings or heard 
Wesley preach. 

On his return to London, Wesley preached at Wapping, 
and twenty-six people were stricken down under convic- 
tion of sin. "Some sunk down and there remained no 
strength in them," says he, "others exceedingly trembled 
and quaked; some were torn with a kind of convulsive mo- 
tion in every part of their bodies." Wesley had seen many 
hysterical and many epileptic fits, " but none of them were 
like these in many respects," says he. "I immediately 
prayed, ' That God wduld not suffer those who were weak 
to be offended.' But one woman was offended greatly; 
being sure, 'they might help it if they would; no one 


should persuade her to the contrary ; ' and was got three 
or four yards, when she also dropped down, in as violent 
an agony as the rest/' 

In London Wesley preached in the open air to vast au- 
diences of many thousands of people, as Whitefidd and 
he had done in Bristol; and he afterwards held similar 
great out-door meetings all over Britain. Even when rain 
was falling or biting frost was on the ground, he sometimes 
preached to many thousands in the open air, and sometimes 
the sermons were two or three hours long. When the doors 
of his home church at Epworth were closed against him, 
he preached standing on his father's tombstone in the 
church-yard with an immense crowd around him. He often 
spoke with great liberty and power when preaching in these 
open-air meetings. On December 23, 1744, while preach- 
ing at Snow-Fields, " I found," says he, " Such light and 
strength as I never remember to have had before. I had 
often wondered at myself (and sometimes mentioned it 
to others), that ten thousand caVes of various kinds were 
no more weight to my mind than ten thousand hairs were 
to my head." When worn out with overwork he often 
found new strength in answer to prayer. Writing concern- 
ing one of these occasions he says, " I then thought, ' Can- 
not God heal either man or beast by any means, or without 
any.' Immediately my weariness and head-ache ceased, and 
my horses' lameness in the same instant " (Journal, March 
17, 1740). 

Wesley was a great organizer and a strict disciplinarian. 
He expelled from the Methodist Societies everyone who 
was frivolous or trifling. He expelled them by the scores. 
He insisted upon modesty in dress, in abstinence from 
worldly amusements, and on daily holy living. It was his 
desire to have no one in the Methodist Societies except 


such as would adorn them by holy and consistent living. 
Concerning the Society at Epworth he wrote, "The So- 
ciety here is not large, but God has wrought upon the 
whole place; sabbath-breaking and drunkenness are no 
more seen in the streets; cursing and swearing are rarely 

Both John and Charles Wesley, as well as the other 
early Methodist preachers, were strong advocates of the 
doctrine of entire and instantaneous sanctification through 
faith. In his Works, Volume VII., Wesley says; "Many 
years since, I saw that without holiness no man shall see 
the Lord. I began by following after it and inciting all 
with whom I had any intercourse to do the same. Ten 
years after, God gave me a clearer view than I had before 
of the way how to attain it, namely, by faith in the Son of 
God. And immediately I declared to all, 'We are saved 
from sin, we are made holy by faith. This I testified in 
private, in public, in print, and God confirmed it by 2l thou* 
sand witnesses/' 

In his Journal, September 28, 1762, Wesley says: 
" Many years ago my brother frequently said, * Your day 
of Pentecost is not fully come ; but I doubt not it will ; and 
you will then hear of persons sanctified, as frequently as 
you do now of persons justified.' Any unprejudiced reader 
may observe, that it was now fully come. And accordingly 
we did hear of persons sanctified in London, and most other 
parts of England ; and in Dublin, and in many other parts 
of Ireland as frequently as of persons justified, although 
instances of the latter were far more frequent than they 
had been for twenty years before." 

Wesley's famous sermon on "Christian Perfection" 
was first published in 1733, and was often reprinted by him, 
without alteration, in later years. Deeming it complete, he 


simply reprinted it. Some have thought that he changed 
his mind with r^;ard to the doctrine of " Christian Per- 
fection," but in his Journal, in 1778, he wrote, " Forty 
years ago I knew and preached every Christian doctrine 
which I preach now." In his Journal, of June 19 and 26, 
July 3, and August 4, 1762, and in numerous other places, 
he tells of persons being sanctified. In his Journal of De- 
cember 29, 1766, he says: "At five in the morning I again 
began a course of sermons on 'Christian Perfection,' if 
haply that thirst after it might return, which was so general 
a few years ago. Since that time how deeply have we 
grieved the Spirit of God! Yet two or three have lately 
received His pure love and a few more are brought to the 
birth." In his Journal, June 2y, 1769, he defines what he 
means by " Christian Perfection ;" and in his Works, Vol- 
ume IX., he explains his ideas concerning " Inbred," or 
" Original," Sin, and its eradication. In his Journal, No- 
vember I, 1762, he wrote concerning the views of a certain 
individual, " I like your doctrine of perfection, or pure 
love; love excluding sin. Your insisting that it is merely 
by faith ; that consequently it is instantaneous, (though pre- 
ceded and followed by a gradual work), and that it may 
be now, at this instant. 

** But I dislike your supposing man may be as perfect 
as an angel ; that he can be absolutely perfect ; that he can 
be infallible or above being tempted ; or, that the moment 
he is pure in heart he cannot fall from it. 

'' I dislike the saying. This was not known or taught 
among us till within two or three years. I grant you did 
not know it. You have over and over denied instantan- 
eous sanctification to me; but I have known and taught it 
(and so has my brother, as our writings show) above these 
twenty years.*' 


In his Journal, May 14, 1765, Wesley explains how he 
came to believe in the doctrine of " Christian Perfection/' 
and what he believed the experience to be. He says : " But 
how came this opinion into my mind? I will tell you with 
all simplicity. In 1725 I met with Bishop Taylor's ' Rules 
of Holy Living and Dying.' I was struck particularly with 
the chapter on intention, and felt a fixed intention to give 
myself up to God. In this I was much confirmed soon 
after by the Christian Pattern, and longed to give God all 
my heart. This is just what I mean by Perfection now. 
I sought after it from that hour. 

" In 1727 I read Mr. Law's * Christian Perfection ' and 
' Serious Call,' and more explicitly resolved to be all devoted 
to God, in body, soul, and spirit. In 1730, I began to be 
homo unius libri; to study (comparatively) no book but 
the Bible. I then saw in a stronger light than ever before, 
that only one thing is needful, even faith that worketh by 
the love of God and man, all inward and outward holiness, 
and I groaned to love God with all my heart, and to serve 
Him with all my strength. 

"January i, 1733, I preached the sermon on the circum- 
cision of the heart; which contains all that I now teach 
concerning salvation from all sin, and loving God with an 
undivided heart. In the same year I printed, (the first 
time I ventured to print anything), for the use of my 
pupils, ' A Collection of Forms of Prayer ; ' and in this I 
spoke explicitly of giving 'the whole heart and the whole 
life to God.' This was then as it is now, my idea of Per- 
f ection, though I should have started at the word. 

" In 1735, I preached my Farewell Sermon, at Epworth, 
in Lincolnshire. In this likewise I spoke with the utmost 
deamess of having one design, one desire, one love, and 


of pursuing the one end of our life in all our words and ac- 

" In January, 1738, I expressed my desires in these 
words : 

O grant that nothing in my soul 
May dwell but Thy pure love alone ; 

O may Thy love possess me whole, 
My joy, my treasure and my crown 

Strange flames far from my heart remove ; 
My every act, word, thought be love. 

** I am still persuaded that this is what the Lord Jesus 
hath bought me with His blood." 

Wesley was almost constantly traveling and preaching. 
"The world is my parish " was his famous motto. In 
1774 he wrote that he never travelled less than 4,500 miles 
a year. For many a year his annual record was 8,000 miles, 
and during this period he seldom preached less than 5,000 
times a year. He traveled as an itinerant preacher, after 
he was 36 years of age, 225,000 miles, and preached more 
than 40,000 sermons, some of them to congregations of 
above 20,000 people. He rose at four o'clock in the morn- 
ing and preached at five nearly every day. 

In 1789 Wesley's sight and strength were pretty well 
exhausted and he felt that he was " an old man ;" but he 
continued to preach and write until within a few days of 
his death. With the power of God manifestly present, he 
expired triumphantly on March 2, 179 1, his dying testimony 
being : " Best of all, God is with us." 

George Whitepield 


The name of George Whiteiield, the prince of open-air 
preachers, will ever rank high among those of great soul- 
winners. Perhaps no preacher was ever gifted with a more 
powerful voice for open air work, or ever preached to 
larger out-door congr^;ations than did Whitefield. It is 
estimated that he preached to a hundred thousand persons 
at Cambuslang, in Scotland, and that ten thousand persons 
professed conversion to Christ as the result of his sermon. 
Although frail in body and having weak lungs, God seemed 
to endow him with supernatural strength for open air work 
at a time when church doors were closed against him. Ben- 
jamin Franklin claimed to have tested the voice of White- 
field to find out how far he could hear him distinctly, and 
he heard him clearly for over a mile. 

Whitefield's grandfather was a clergyman in the Qiurch 
of England, but his father was a wine merchant and inn- 
keeper. George was bom in 1714. He was the youngest 
of a family of seven — six sons and a daughter. His father 
died when he was an infant, and his mother — ^like the 
mother of Mr. Moody — ^was left to struggle through pov- 
erty with a large family. When four years old George had 
the measles, which through neglect left one of his lively 
dark blue eyes with a slight squint. This, however, did 
not mar the charm of his countenance. 

His early life was stained with lying, cheating, evil 
speaking, small thefts, and other juvenile sins. In this he 



much resembled the celebrated Saint Augustine. He would 
sometimes run into the dissenting meeting-house during 
services and shout the name of the worthy minister — " Old 
Cole! old Cole! old Cole! " and then he was off in a hurry. 
A member of the same chapel once asked him what he 
intended to be. '* A minister/' said he, '' but I would take 
care never to tell stories in the pulpit like the old Cole/' 
he added. The worthy old minister afterwards rejoiced to 
hear Whitefield relate anecdotes and incidents with a vivid- 
ness and power far exceeding his own capabilities. 

Whitefield was a wild, unrestrained lad. His mother 
tried to keep him from taking part in the business, but he 
sometimes sold drinks over the counter and kept the money. 
" It would be endless/' says he, " to recount the sins and 
offences of my younger days." He had many good thoughts 
and compunctions of conscience. Thus, he did not use all 
the money he stole from his mother, but gave scmie of it 
to the poor. Among the books that he stole from others 
were devotional books as well as books of romance — ^he 
afterwards restored them fourfold. He was very high- 
tempered, and once when some persons, who took pleasure 
in exasperating him, had greatly provoked him, he went to 
his room and on his knees, with tears in his eyes, prayed 
over the iiSth Psalm. He was familiar with the Bible, and 
although he ridiculed sacred things, he was fond of the 
thought of some day being a clergyman, and he frequently 
imitated the clergyman's manner of reading prayers, or in- 
toning them in the manner so common at that time. 

In the Church of St. Mary de Crypt, Gloucester, White- 
field was christened as a baby, made fun as a boy of ten, 
and preached his first sermon as a deacon at the age of 
twenty-one. When he was ten years of age his mother 
married again, but this does not seem to have improved 


fheir condition, financially at least. At the common school 
of St. Mary de Crypt, young Whitefield's memory and 
elocutionary powers won him great distinction in the am- 
ateur theatricals of which he was very fond. At fifteen 
years of age he gave up the common school and commenced 
helping his mother in the housework at Bell Inn. In the 
evenings he often read his Bible and even composed several 
sermons. Finally his brother took charge of the inn, and 
George could not agree with the sister-in-law, and so left 
and went to another brother's in Bristol. Here he first 
felt the power of God's Spirit working upon his heart. He 
felt a great longing for the things of God. After two 
months he returned home and these convictions and long- 
ings left him. His mother gave him the best she could-— 
a bed on the floor. No business seemed to open up for him, 
and one day he said to his sister, ** Sister, God intends some- 
thing for me that we know not of." His mother also seems 
to have had presentiments of his coming greatness. 

After remaining idle for scmie time he found that there 
was opportunity for him to work his way, as a servitor, 
through Oxford University. He went to school again to 
prepare for Oxford, and was led off into atheism by sinful 
companions. This did not last long, and he finally made 
up his mind to prepare to take communion on his seven- 
teenth birthday. A dream about God, and a powerful im- 
pression that he was to preach the gospel seem to have 
greatly sobered him. A brother also gave him a straight 
talk about his rapid changes from saint to sinner and from 
sinner to saint 

In 1732, when eighteen years of age, he went to Ox- 
ford. At Oxford, to his great delight and after long de- 
siring it, he was taken into the band of "Methodists," 
which then numbered fifteen. A book entitled " The Life 


of God in the Soul of Man/' loaned to him by Charles Wes- 
ley, opened Whitefield's eyes to see that outward works 
and outward forms and ceremonies would not save the soul. 
When he read that " true religion is an union of the soul 
with God, or Christ formed within us," a ray of light in- 
stantaneously darted in upon his soul, and from that mo- 
ment, but not till then, did he know that he must be a new 
creature. He was "bom of God" long before the Wes- 
leys, his devout companions, were brought out into the clear 
light of the new birth. He wrote his acquaintances con- 
cerning his conversion, and they charitably supposed him 
to be insane. He shared great persecution with others of 
the "Holy Club," or "Methodists." The contempt and 
shame he suffered at Oxford helped to prepare him for 
the still greater persecutions of his later life. 

Owing to the fact that the Wesleys did not yet under- 
stand regeneration, or the new birth, Whitefield got his 
eyes off Christ, and began once more to look to externa} 
works for salvation. He went through many sore trials 
and temptations, and spent whole days and nights in fast- 
ing and prayer for " deliverance " from the proud, hellish 
thoughts that used to crowd into his soul." He says, " I 
never ceased wrestling with God till He blessed me with 
victory over them." Before obtaining victory through 
faith, he sought it by means of severe fasting, eating coarse 
food, dressing poorly, and by practising other severe aus- 
terities and penances. He prayed one night out under a 
tree in the coldest weather, and he lived for some time on 
sage tea, without sugar, and coarse bread. Finally his 
austerities so weakened his body that he could scarcely 
creep upstairs. The Wesleys could hdp him but little, 
but after seven weeks of self-centered seeking his eyes 
were once more directed to Christ as his Saviour, and 


peace and joy returned to his soul. He says, " But oh! with 
what joy, joy unspeakable, even joy that was full of, and 
big with, g^ory, was my soul filled, when the weight 
of sin went off ; and an abiding sense of the pardoning love 
of God, and a full assurance of faith broke in upon my 
disconsolate soul! Ever afterwards he seems to have had 
clearer views concerning salvation through faith, and he 
was soon the means of leading several of his companions 
into the experience of tbe new birth, both at Gloucester and 

He now began joyfully to read the Word of God, to 
visit the sick, and to perform other services for the Master. 
Soon his friends urged him to be ordained. His great 
humility led him to decline, but being patient and flexible 
in all matters regarding himself, though firm as a rock in 
matters of conviction, he was persuaded to go through the 
ceremony of ordination. As he had previously dreamed, 
the bishop sent for him and received him kindly, and made 
him a present of some gold, and informed him that though 
he had previously made up his mind not to ordain any one 
under three-and-twenty years, still he was willing to or- 
dain him whenever he desired it. 

It was at the moment of his ordination that Whitefield 
seems to have made a complete consecration of himself to 
God and to have received the anointing of the Spirit and 
power which made him so mighty a worker in God's har- 
vest field. It was on June 20, 1736, at the age of twenty- 
one, diat he was ordained by the good Bishop of Glou- 
cester, Dr. Benson. In " Account of God's Dealings," Sec- 
tion IV., Whitefield thus describes what be experienced at 
that time: 

"About three days before the time appointed for my 

ordination the Bishop came to town. The next day I sent 


his lordship an abstract of my private examination on 
these two questions, ' Do you trust that you are inwardly 
moved by the Holy Ghost to take upon you this office and 
administration?' And, 'Are you called according to the 
will of the Lord Jesus Christ and the laws of this realm?' 
The next morning I waited on the bishop. He received 
me with much love, telling me, he was glad I was come; 
that he was satisfied with the preparation I had made, and 
with the allowance given me by Sir John Phillips. ' I had 
myself,' said he, 'made provision for you of two little 
parishes, but since you choose to be at Oxford, I am very 
well pleased. I doubt not but you will do much good.' 

" Upon this I took my leave, abashed with God's good- 
ness to such a wretch, but withal exceedingly rejoiced, that 
in every circumstance he made my way into the ministry 
so very plain before my face I 

" This, I think, was on Friday. The day following I 
continued in abstinence and prayer. In the evening I re- 
tired to a hill near the town, and prayed fervently for about 
two hours, in behalf of myself and those that were to be 
ordained with me. 

"On Sunday morning I rose early, and prayed over 
St. Paul's epistle to Timothy, and more particularly over 
that precept, ' Let no man despise thy youth.' When I went 
up to the altar, I could think of nothing but Samuel's 
standing a little child before the Lord with a linen ephod. 
When the bishop laid his hands upon my head, my heart 
was melted down, and I offered my whole spirit, soul, and 
body, to the service of God's sanctuary! I read the gos- 
pel, at the bishop's command, with power, and afterwards 
sealed the good confession I had made before many wit- 
nesses, by partaking of the holy sacrament of our Lord's 
most Uessed body and blood . . . . " 


That God really touched the lips of Whitefield with the 
divine fire of His Holy Spirit at the time of his ordination 
seems proved by die fact that he b^;an to preach with 
great unction and power on the next Sunday after his or- 
dination. His first sermon was delivered to an immense 
audience in his old home church at Gloucester. Complaint 
was afterwards made to the bishop that fifteen people were 
driven mad by this sermon. The good bishop replied that 
he hoped that madness would not be forgotten before the 
next Sunday. 

After his ordination Whitefield returned to Oxford, 
with great joy, to complete his course at the University. 
While there he was invited to occupy a friend's pulpit for 
two months in an obscure part of London. He accepted 
the invitation, and although his youth provoked sneers at 
first, great crowds flocked to hear him. At Oxford his 
rooms were often filled with praying students. He left 
the university full of fervor, zeal, and the constraining 
power of the Holy Spirit. After preaching a few sermons 
in England, with great unction and power, he sailed for 
the United States. His few sermons in Bristol, just be- 
fore he left England, stirred the whole city. On his sec- 
ond visit, while waiting for his vessel to sail for America, 
crowds of people flocked out to meet him on his way to 
the city. Although he was only twenty-two years of age, 
Bristol was completely under his spell. Quakers and Non- 
conformists generally left their chapels to hear him preach. 
Hic "new birth" preached with power from on high 
seemed to attract all conditions of men. Every nook and 
oomer of the church was crowded, and half the people 
had to be turned away. Many wept bitterly when he left 
the dty, as did the people of Gloucester when he left that 
city. In London, while waiting for his vessel, he was com- 


pelled to preach, and the large churches would not hold 
his audiences. Thousands went away for want of room. 
On Sunday the streets were crowded with people going 
to meeting long before the break of day. The stewards 
could hardly carry the donations made for the orphanage 
he hoped to start in America, so heavy and so many were 
die large English pennies of that day, which formed the 
bulk of the collections. Soon the clergy became jealous, 
and bitter opposition set in against Whitefield, and churches 
were closed against him. 

About Christmas, 1737, he set sail for America, as weep- 
ing crowds bade him farewell. He left the charity schools 
of England £1,000 ($5,000) richer for his brief labors 
lliere. All on board the vessel were greatly blessed by 
his ministrations during the voyage. 

When Whitefield reached his destination in Georgia he 
had but little opportunity to preach to large crowds, as 
two hundred people were a large conjgpregaton in the fron- 
tier settlements. But he won his way to the hearts of 
the people and scores were brought to Christ. He re- 
turned to England in 1738, and began to work in co-oper- 
ation with the Wesleys, who had been led out into the 
light concerning regeneration, or the "new birth," during 
his absence in America. God was greatly blessing them, 
but their preaching was too plain to suit lukewarm, world- 
ly, and fashionable churches, and the doors of these 
churches were rapidly closing against them. Whitefield 
preached in one church where a thousand people were 
unable to get inside, and this suggested to him the idea 
of outdoor preaching, but even his Methodist brethren at 
that time regarded this as a "mad idea." Soon after this 
the people were so deeply moved by his preaching that 
they b^gan to say aloud "Amen " to many things that he 


said. This seems to have been a new thing in those days. 

Excluded from many of the state churches, Whiteiield 
hegaok his open-air preaching at Kingswood, Bristol, in 
1739. There the rough coal miners gathered to hear him, 
and his audiences doubled and trebled until he fotmd him- 
self preaching to 20,000 people. Tears streamed down the 
cheeks of the coal-begrimed men, and hundreds and hun- 
dreds were convicted of sin and brought to Christ. White- 
field had now left off using printed prayers and written 
sermons, and prayed and preached extempore as he felt 
led by the Spirit of God. Wherever he went, the people 
flocked to hear him in such great crowds that the churches 
would no longer have contained them, had they been open 
to him. When farewelling from Bristol, the crowd was 
so great at one of the Methodist Societies that he had to 
leave by mounting a ladder and climbing over the tiling 
of an adjoining house. Wesley continued the great work 
b^^un by Whitefield in Bristol. 

When evicted from a Church of England in London, 
while preaching, Whitefield continued his sermon in the 
church yard. He then began his open-air meetings at 
Moorfidds, one of the largest, vilest, and most notorious 
pleasure resorts in London. Great was the astonishment 
of the London rowdies to see the tall, graceful young 
clergyman, with mild blue eyes, and clad in gown and 
cassock, standing on the wall addressing them on the sec- 
ond coming of Christ. The same day he addressed a more 
refined audience of 20,000 people on Kennington Common. 
After this he continued to preach to great audiences of 
from 20,000 to 40,000 in both of these places. It is said 
that he received more than a thousand written requests for 
prayer at one of his meetings at Moorfields. The singing 
of the vast audiences could be heard for a distance of two 
miles. When the people at Kennington Common heard 


that he was to leave for America, their weeping was so 
loud as to almost drown his voice. A similar scene was 
enacted at Moorfields. At Hackney Marsh he preached 
at a horse race to about 10,000 people, and the horses got 
but little attention. 

On his second and subsequent trips to America, White- 
field met with very great success. He preached to large 
audiences, and won many souls to Christ. It was claimed 
that every student in Harvard University professed con- 
version to Christ during his meetings there. Benjamin 
Franklin was deeply impressed with his preaching, and the 
celebrated Jonathan Edwards wept while listening to his 

On his return to England he preached to great audi- 
ences in the tabernacle built for him at Moorfields, and 
also to vast audiences in many other parts of Britain. Per- 
haps his greatest meeting was at Cambuslang, near Glas- 
gow, Scotland, where he is said to have preadied to an 
audience variously estimated at from 30,000 to 100,000 
people. Many were bathed in tears for an hour and a 
half while he was preaching, and it is claimed that ten 
thousand persons professed conversion to Christ under this 
sermon. All Britain seemed in a holy fervor over his 
preaching. The Vicar of Bideford warned the people 
against Whitefield's preaching one Sunday evening, but 
next morning he preached to an audience of 10,000. Even 
the nobility gladly sat at his feet, and thousands of people 
would often stand in the rain listening to him. 

The frailty of Whitefield's body was so great that the 
marvelous range of his voice seemed almost supernatural 
The clearness and range of his voice has probably never 
been equaled by that of any other open-air preacher. 

The vividness with which Whitefield preached seemed 
to be almost supernatural. One time he was preachiof 


to saflors, and he described a vessel wrecked in a storm at 
sea. He portrayed her as on her beam and just ready to 
sink, and then he cried aloud, " What next?" The picture 
was so real that the sailors sprang to their feet and cried out, 
" The long boat ! Take the longboat I " At another time he 
pictured a blind man walking towards the edge of a precipice 
without knowing where he was going, until finally he was 
right on the edge of the precipice. The portrayal was so 
vivid and real that when he reached this point in his sermon, 
Lord Chesterfield, who was present, sprang to his feet and 
cried aloud, " My God ! he is gone ! '* Famous actors like 
Garrick, Foote, and Shuter loved to hear Whitefield preach. 
Garrick was so deeply impressed with the oratorical powers 
of Whitefield that he declared he believed Whitefield could 
make people weep by the mere enunciation of the word 

Whitefield was not a theologian by nature, and found 
but little time for reading books. Most of the books he did 
find time to read were of the old-school Calvinistic t3rpe so 
prevalent at that time, and his mind became confirmed in the 
Calvinistic views of theology. This led to a controversy 
between him and the Wesleys, as the latter rejected the fa- 
talistic teachings of old-school Calvinism. Their friendship 
for each other continued, but Whitefield did not work in 
such full accord and harmony with the Wesleys as before 
the controversy. But both the Wesleys and Whitefield were 
mightily used of God, each preaching the gospel with the 
degree of light given to him. Whitefield probably did not 
have so logical a mind as John Wesley. He was sometimes 
accused of rambling in his sermons, and of not keeping to 
his subject His reply to this was, ''If men will continue 
to ramble like lost sheep, then I will continue to ramble 
after them." 


Like Wesley, Whitefield was a strenuous worker. When 
in his prime he seldom preached less than fifteen times a 
week. It is estimated that he preached at least eighteen 
thousand sermons, or an average of ten times a week for 
thirty-four years. He often preached as many as four or 
five times in one day. 

After intensely longing to be with the Master for over 
a score of years, he died in 1770, during his seventh visit 
to America, having preached up to and on the day preceding 
his death. 

John Fletcher 


^'Fletdier was a saint, as unearthly a being as could 
tread the earth at all," says Isaac Taylor, one of his con- 
temporaries. "I conceive Fletcher to be the most holy man 
who has been upon earth since the apostolic age." says Dr. 
Dixon, one of the greatest Methodist preachers of Fletch- 
er's day. John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, pro- 
nounced Fletcher the most unblameable man, in every re- 
spect, that, within fourscore years, he had found in Europe 
or America. He chose Fletcher as his successor in direct- 
ing the Methodist Societies; but Fletcher though younger 
than Wesley, was called to his eternal reward before 

Remarkable as it may seem, Fletcher was not a native of 
the country where he achieved so great fame as a writer and 
preacher. Jean Guilliaume de la Flechere, for such was his 
full name in his native tongue, was bom in Switzerland, his 
home being on the shores of Lake Leman in one of the love- 
liest spots in the world, not far from Geneva, the Jura and 
Alps Mountains, the famous Castle of Chillon and Lau- 
sanne. His parents belonged to the nobility and were highly 
esteemed. Jean was bom in the year 1729. 

Wesley states that in his childhood Fletcher had much 
of the fear of God, and great tendemess of conscience. One 
day, when he was about seven years of age, he had mis- 
behaved, and his nurse said to him, "You are a naughty 
boy. Do you know that the devil is to take away all 



naughty children?" The maid's remark troubled him. He 
began to pray and did not cease until he believed that God 
had forgiven him. His conduct was very exemplary from 
this on. Like Christmas Evans and many others, he had 
many narrow escapes from death in his youth. Three 
times he was almost drowned, and once he fell a long 
distance, but landed on some soft mortar. God preserves 
the lives of those whom He has chosen for some great 

Fletcher received a good education and took the high- 
est honors in the University of Geneva. He then went to 
Lentzburg to study German, Hebrew, and higher mathe- 

From his earliest youth he felt a call to preach, but 
afterwards he abandoned all hope of ever entering the 
ministry. He says : " I think it was when I was seven 
years of age, that I first began to feel the love of God 
shed abroad in my heart, and that I resolved to give my- 
self up to Him, and to the service of His Church, if ever 
I should be fit for it; but the corruption which is in the 
world, and that which was in my own heart, soon weak- 
ened, if not erased, those first characters which grace had 
written upon it." Later, he says, " I went through my 
studies with a design of entering into orders; but, after- 
wards upon serious reflections, feeling I was unequal to 
so great a burden, and disgusted with the necessity I should 
be under to subscribe to the doctrine of predestination, I 
yielded to the desire of my friends, who would have me 
go into the army." 

It is remarkable that one bom in the stronghold of 
Calvinism, as was Fletcher, should conceive so great a dis- 
like for the principal doctrine of that system of theology, 
and should become the greatest writer against the Calvin- 
istic system of belief. Although one of so gentle a nature 


must have revolted at the thought of bloodshed and battle^ 
he chose to become a soldier rather than to preach the 
doctrines his heart and mind could not endorse. He ac- 
cepted a captain's commission to fight for Portugal against 
Brazil, but an accident providentially prevented him from 
engaging in actual warfare. Just before his ship sailed, 
a serving maid let the tea kettle fall on his leg, and scalded 
him so badly that he could not go. Thus the Lord de- 
feated his purposes. Soon after this his uncle procured a 
colonel's commission for him in the Dutch army. But 
his uncle died, and peace was concluded, and the Lord 
again defeated him in his purposes. 

In 1752 Fletcher went to England to learn die English 
language. He became tutor to the two sons of Thomas 
Hill, Esq., of Shropshire. It was while thus employed 
that he became soundly converted to God. A vivid dream 
he had concerning the final judgment aroused him to see 
the backslidden condition of his heart. " For some days," 
says he, '' I was so dejected and harassed in mind as to 
be unable to apply myself to an}rthing. While in this 
state he heard about the Methodists. He was told that 
they were a people who did " nothing but pray," and that 
they were 'Spraying all day and all night," and he re- 
solved to find them. After hearing them he became more 
and more conscious that some inward change was neces- 
sary to make him happy." After hearing a preacher named 
Green, he was convinced that he did not understand the 
nature of saving faith, although he had received a pre- 
mium in the university for his writings on theological and 
divine subjects. 

God opened his eyes more and more to his sinfulness 
until he wrote in his diary, on January 12, 1755 : "All my 
righteousness is as filthy rags. I am a very devil, though 
of an inferior sort, and if I am not renewed before I go 


hence, hell will be my portion to all eternity." He 
scribes how he went on sinning and repenting, and 
ning again; but calling on God's mercy through Q] 
"On January 21st/' says he, "I bq^an to write a 
fession of my sins, misery, and helplessness, together 
a resolution to seek Christ even unto death ; but, my 1 
ness calling me away I had no heart to go on with 
On Thursday, January 23, his fast-day, he was sc 
tempted, and was so despondent that he almost gay< 
all hope. " Having continued my supplication till near 
in the morning," he says, " I then opened my Bible, 
fell on these words, ' Cast thy burden on the Lord, 
he shall sustain thee. He will not suffer the righteov 
be moved.' Filled with joy, I fell again on my knee 
beg of God that I might always cast my burden upon I 
I took my Bible again, and fell on these words, ' I wii 
with thee; fear not, neither be dismayed.' My hope 
now greatly increased, and I thought I saw myself 
queror over sin, hell, and all manner of affliction. 

"With this beautiful promise I shut my Bible, an 
I shut it I cast my eye on the words, ' Whatsoever ye ! 
ask in my name, I will do it.' So having asked perse 
ance and grace to serve God till death, I went dieer: 
to take my rest." 

Such is the account of Fletcher's conversion to C 
as related in his diary and gleaned from various lettei 
his. His widow adds the following, written after his dc 

" I subjoin what I have heard him speak concer 
this time. He still pleaded with the Lord to take a f 
possession of his heart, and to give a fuller manifests 
of His love, till one day, when in earnest prayer and 1 
prostrate on his face, he saw, with the eye of faith, 
^viour on the cross, and at the same time these w 
were spoken with power to his heart: 


^ • Seized by the rage of sinful men, 

I see Christ bound, and bruis'd, and slain^ 
Tis done, the Martyr dies I 
His life to ransom ours is given. 
And lo ! the fiercest fire of heaven 
Consumes the sacrifice. 

^ * He suffers both from men and God« 
He bears the universal load 

Of guilt and misery ! 
He suffers to reverse our doom 
And lol my Lord is here become 
The bread of life to me. 

** Now all his bands were broken. His freed soul be- 
gan to breathe a purer air. Sin was beneath his feet. He 
could triumph in the Lord. From this time he walked in 
the ways of God, and, thinking he had not leisure enough 
in the day, he made it a constant rule to sit up two whole 
nights in the week for reading, prayer, and meditation.'' 

Fletcher was so humble and so unselfish diat he said 
or wrote but little concerning himself, and it is difficult 
therefore to give any detailed account of his deeper spir- 
itual experiences. His writings, however, like those of 
Wesley, abound with teaching concerning perfect love and 
entire sanctification. Like Wesley, he believed that while 
men are imperfect in knowledge and in many other ways, 
it is possible for them to be perfect in love, or to love 
God with all the strength and intelligence they possess. 
He believed that the promise of the baptism of the Holy 
Spirit was for believers today as much as at the day of 

Although Fletdier wrote but little concemmg himself, 
his widow wrote a brief account of how he was led into a 
deeper experience than conversion. Referring to his con* 


version, she says : ** Some time after this he was favored 
with a further manifestation of the love of God, so power- 
ful, that, he said, it appeared to him as if his body and 
soul would be separated. Now all his desires centered in 
one, that of devoting himself to the service of his precious 
Master, which he thought he could best do by entering 
holy orders." 

The fullest account of how Fletcher obtained this deeper 
inward experienec is given in a letter written by the fa- 
mous Spirit-filled Hester Ann Rogers. Describing a meet- 
ing held in 1781, she says: ''When I entered the room, 
where they were assembled, the heavenly man (Fletcher) 
was giving out the following verses with such animatioa 
as I have seldom witnessed — 

'''Near us, assisting Jesus, stand; 

Give us the opening heavens to see; 
Thee to behold at God's right hand, 
And yield our parting souls to Thee* 

" 'My Father, O my Father, hear. 
And send the fiery chariot down; 
Let Israel's famous steeds appear. 
And whirl us to the starry crown. 

" 'We, we would die for Jesus too ; 

Through tortures, fires, and seas of blood» 
All triumphantly break through. 
And plunge into the depths of God/ 

"After this Mr. Fletcher poured out his full soul in 
prayer, or praise, or spiritual instruction; and every word 
that fell from his lips appeared to be accompanied with an 
unction from above. 

"After dinner, I took an opportunity to bq^ him to 
explain an expression he had used in a letter to Miss Lox- 


dale; namely, that, on all who are renewed in love, God 
bestows the gift of prophecy. He called for the Bible; 
then read and explained Acts II., observing, that, to 
prophesy in the sense he meant, was, to magnify God with 
the new heart of love, and the new tongue of praise, as 
they did, who, on the day of Pentecost, were filled with the 
Holy Ghost. He insisted now that believers are called 
upon to prove the same baptismal fire; that the day of 
Pentecost was the opening of the dispensation of the Spirit 
— the great promise of the Father ; and that the latter day 
glory, which he believed was near at hand, should far ex- 
ceed the first effusion of the Spirit. Seeing then that they, 
on the day of Pentecost, bare witness to the grace of our 
Lord, so shall we ; and, like them, spread the flame of love. 

" After singing a hymn, he cried, ' O to be filled with 
the Holy Ghost I I want to be filled! O, my friends, let 
us wrestle for a more abundant outpouring of the Holy 
Spirit ! ' To me, he said, * G)me, my sister, will you cov- 
enant with me this day, to pray for the fulness of the 
Spirit f Will you be a witness for Jesus. I answered with 
flowing tears, * In the strength of Jesus I will.' He cried, 
'Glory, glory be to God! Lord, strengthen Thine hand- 
maid to keep this covenant, even unto death ! * 

"He then said, 'My dear brethren and sisters, God 
is here! I fed Him in this place; but I would hide my 
face in the dust, because I have been ashamed to declare 
what He has done for me. For many years, I have grieved 
His Spirit; I am deeply humbled; and He has again re- 
stored my soul. Last Wednesday evening, He spoke to 
me by these words, 'Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed 
unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our 
I^ord.* I obeyed the voice of God ; I now obey it ; and tell 
you all, to the praise of His love — I am freed from sin. 
Yes, I rejoice to declare it, and to be a witness to the glory 



of His grace, that / am dead unto sm, and dive unto God, 
through Jesus Christ, who is my Lord and King! I re- 
ceived this Uessing four or five times before; but I lost 
it, by not observing the order of God; who has told us, 
IVith the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with 
the mouth confession is made unto salvation. But the 
enemy offered his bait, under various colors, to keep me 
from a public declaration of what God had wrought 

''When I first received this grace, Satan bid me wait 
awhile, till I saw more of the fruits; I resolved to do so; 
but I soon began to doubt of the witness, wfaidi, btiort, I 
had felt in my heartf and in a little time, I was sensiUe 
I had bst both. A second time, after receiving this sal- 
vation, I was kept from being a witness for my Lord, by 
the suggestion, ' Thou art a public character — die eyes of 
all are upon thee — and if, as before, by any means thou 
lose the blessing, it will be a dishonor to the doctrine of 
heart-hdiness' I held my peace, and again forfeited the gift 
of God At another time, I was prevailed upon to hide it, 
by reasoning, * How few, even of the children of God, will 
receive this testimony ; many of them supposing that every 
transgression of the Adamic law is sin; and, therefore, 
if I profess to be free from sin, aU these will give my pro- 
fession the lie; because I am not free in their sense; I am 
not free from ignorance, mistakes, and various infirmities; 
I will, therefore, enjoy what God has wrought in me; but 
I will not say, ' / am perfect in love! Alas ! I soon found 
again. He that hideth his Lord's talent, and improveth it 
not, from that unprofitable servant shall be taken aunty 
even that he hath. 

''Now, my brethren, you see my folly. I have con- 
fessed it in your presence; and now I resolve before you 
all to confess my Master. I will confess Him to all the 
world. And I declare unto you, in the presence of God, 


the Holy Trinity, I am now dead indeed unio sm. I do 
not say, / am crucified with Christ, because some of our 
well-meaning brethren say, by this can only be meant grad- 
ual dying ; but I profess unto you, / am dead unto sin, and 
alive unto God; and, remember, all this is through Jesus 
Christ our L^Mrd. He is my Prophet, Priest, and King — 
my indwdling Holiness — my all in all. I wait for the 
fulfilment of that prayer. That all may be one, as Thou, 
Father, art in me, and I in Thee, that they also may be 
one in us; and that they may be one, even as we are one. 
O for that pure baptismal flameJ O for the fulness of the 
dispensation of the Holy Ghost! Pray, pray, pray for 
this ! This shall make us all of one heart, and of one soul. 
Pray for gifts — for the gift of utterance ; and confess your 
royal Master. A man without gifts is like a king in dis- 
guise; he appears as a subject only. You are kings and 
priests unto God! Put on, therefore, your robes, and wear 
on your garter, holiness to the Lord/ 

*' A few days after this, I heard Mr. Fletcher preadi 
upon the same subject ; inviting all, who felt their need of 
full redemption, to believe now for this great salvation. 
He observed, ' As when you reckon with your creditor, or 
with your host, and, as when you have paid all, you reckon 
yourselves free, so now reckon with God. Jesus has paid 
all; He has paid for thee!—h2LS purchased thy pardon and 
holiness; therefore, it is now God's command. Reckon thy- 
self dead indeed unto sin ; and thou art alive unto God from 
this hour! O, begin, begin to reckon now! Fear not; be- 
lieve, believe, believe! and continue to believe every mo- 
ment! So shalt thou continue free; for it is retained as 
it is received, by faith alone. And, whosoever thou art 
that perseveringly believetfa, it will be as fire in thy bosom, 
and constrain thee to confess with thy mouth thy Lord and 


thy King, Jesus, and in spreading the sacred flame of Loye» 
thou shalt be saved to the uttermost/ 

"He also dwelt largely on these words, 'Where sin 
abounded, grace did much more abound/ He asked, ' How 
did sin abound? Had it not overpowered your whole soul? 
Were not all your passions, tempers, propensities, inor- 
dinate and evil? Did not pride, anger, self-will, and un- 
belief , all reign over you? And, when the Spirit of God 
strove with you, did you not repel all His convictions, and 
put Him far from you? Well, my brethren, ye were then 
the servants of sin, and were free from righteousness ; but, 
now, being made free from sin, ye became servants to God ; 
and holiness shall overspread your whole soul, so that all 
your tempers and passions shall be henceforth regulated 
and governed by Him who now sitteth upon the throne 
of your heart, making all things new. As you once re- 
sisted the Holy Spirit, so now ye shall have power to re- 
sist all the subtle frauds or fierce attacks of Satan/ 

" Mr. Fletcher then, with lifted hands, cried, ' Who will 
thus be saved? Who will believe the report? You are 
only in an improper sense called believers who reject this. 
Who is a believer ? One who believes a few things which 
God has spoken? Nay, but one who believes all that 
ever proceeded out of His mouth. Here then is the 
word of the Lord : As sin abounded, grace shall much more 
abound! As no good thing was in you by nature, so now 
no evil thing shall remain. Do you believe this? Or are 
you a half believer only ? Come ! Jesus is offered to thee 
as a perfect Saviour. Take Him, and He will make thee 
a perfect saint. O ye half believers, will you still plead 
for the murderers of your Lord ? Which of these will you 
hide as a serpent in your bosom ? Shall it be anger, pride, 
self-will, or accursed unbelief 'i O be no longer befooled! 
Bring these enemies to thy Lord, and let Him slay them.' " 


The above words of Mrs. Rogers give us a glimpse of 
the deeper inward experiences of the sainted Fletcher, al- 
though his own modesty prevented him from giving any 
detailed account of the marvelous manifestations of God's 
Spirit to him, and through him. He walked and talked 
and lived in the Spirit as few others have done. He shrank 
from publicity and controversy, and was one of the most 
retiring of men. 

Fletcher was a great student of prophecy, and a firm 
believer in the pre-millenial coming of Christ. He was 
very abstemious in diet, eating very little and only vege- 
tables, butter, and milk. Every moment of his time was 
employed in some useful manner, and he conversed but 
little except on Christian subjects. 

About the year 1756 Fletcher joined the Methodists, 
and soon after he began to think seriously of entering the 
ministry. In 1757 he was ordained as a priest in the 
Church of England, and from this time forward he be- 
came Wesley's greatest helper and co-laborer. For three 
years he preached with great unction and power in the 
Methodist Societies and wherever Grod opened a door for 
him. Occasionally he had an opportunity of preaching in 
a State Church, but his preaching against sin was so bold 
that the people were aghast and astonished at him; but 
he was already becoming famous as a preacher, and was 
a great favorite with the Wesle3rs, Whitefield, the Coun- 
tess of Huntington, and the Methodists generally. Finally, 
in 1760, he became vicar of the Anglican Church at 
Madeley, which position he held until his death. 

The first ten years at Madeley were spent in preach- 
ing, visiting among his people, and in a profound study 
of theology and religious works of all kinds. It was just 
the preparation Fletcher needed to make him the powerful 
defender of Methodism which he afterwards became. John 


Wesley opposed his settling down at Maddey, but later 
probably saw the wisdom of it After 1765 Methodist 
Societies were formed in the neighborhood of Madeley, 
and Fletcher frequently preached for them. Enormous 
crowds flocked to hear him, and the buildings would sel- 
dom contain the people. In 1765 he visited Bath and 
Bristol, preaching in the large meeting-houses belonging 
to the Countess of Huntington. She wrote concerning his 
preaching, " Deep and awful are the impressions made on 
every hand. Dear Mr. Fletcher's preaching is truly 
apostolic." When about forty years of age he visited his 
home in Switzerland, and preached with power to the 
descendants of the Albigenses, and to other congr^faticms. 
Everywhere he was regarded as almost super-human. An 
old Swiss wept because Fletcher could not remain longer. 
"Oh, sir, said he, "how unfortunate for my country! 
During my lifetime it has produced but one angel of a 
man, and now it is our lot to lose him!" Fletcher also 
visited Italy in 1770, and with bared head and almost 
seraphic countenance he walked along the Appian Way on 
which Paul trod as a prisoner on his way to Rome. In 
1776 Fletcher made an evangelistic tour in Britain with 
the Wesleys. 

For some time Fletcher was president of Trevaca Col- 
lege, the collie founded by the Countess of Huntington 
for training young men for the ministry. There he was 
regarded as almost an angel. Mr. Benson, the head master 
says, " He was received as an angel of God. It is impos- 
sible for me to describe the veneration in which we all 
held him." He also describes how when Fletcher visited 
the college, the students lost interest in all their studies, 
and laid aside ever3rthing to listen to him as he told them 
how that being filled with the Spirit was a better quali- 


ficatkm for the ministry than classical learning. He then 
spent hours on his knees praying for the students to be 
filled with the Holy Ghost On one of these occasions he 
was so overwhelmed with the Holy Spirit's power that he 
cried out, " O my God, withhold Thy hand, or the vessel 
will burst!" but he afterwards felt that he should have 
prayed for God to enlarge the vessel. 

In 1771 the great controversy arose between those who 
held the Calvinistic views of theology and those who held 
the Arminian, and Fletcher became the great defender of 
the Arminian views held by the Methodists. Wesley was 
too busy with the care of all the Methodist Societies to 
devote much time to the controversy, but Fletcher defended 
the Methodist theology in a way which left little to be de- 
sired, and the kindly spirit in which he did it caused a 
better feeling among all parties concerned. In his great 
work entitled "Checks to Antinomianism " Fletcher so 
harmonized the passages of Scripture on predestination, or 
election, and those on man's free agency and moral re- 
sponsibility as to show that they in no way contradict each 
other. This book still remains one of the greatest bulwarks 
of Methodist theology ever produced. 

The Methodist preachers in the Conference burst into 
tears, and Wesley was deeply moved when, in 1784, 
Fletcher requested to be placed on the roll of supernumer- 
ary ministers. The year following, he departed this life 
after resting as in sleep for twenty-four hours. 

It must not be supposed that so holy a man as Fletcher 
had. no temptations. He told Wesley how Satan had often 
tempted him to put an end to his own life. He was so 
passionate by nature that he often plead and prayed the 
whole night to get victory over his temper, and sometimes 
lay prone upon the floor in an agony of grief as he plead 


with God for the victory ; and yet he was famous for his 
gentleness. In his Life of Fletcher, Wesley says: "For 
twenty years and upwards before his death, no one ever 
saw him out of temper, or heard him utter a rash expres- 
sion, on any provocation whatever/' 

Christmas Evans 


Wales has had many famous preachers. Among them, 
Daniel Rowlands, Robert Roberts, John Elias, William 
Williams, Henry Rees, John Jones, and Davies of Swan- 
sea. But Qiristmas Evans, ''the one-eyed preacher of 
Anglesea/' seems to have exceeded all the others both in 
fame and spiritual power. He once said to Richard Row- 
lands : " Brother, the truths, the confidence, and the power 
I feel, will cause some to dance for joy in parts of Wales." 
" They will/' replied Rowlands, with tears in his eyes. And 
so it was. 

Christmas Evans, often called ''The John Bunyan of 
Wales," was bom on Christmas day, 1766, hence his name 
Christmas. His parents were very poor. His father died 
when he was nine years of age, and little Christmas did 
chores for six years for a cruel ungodly uncle. His educa^ 
tion was neglected, and at the age of seventeen he could 
not read a word. Many accidents and misfortunes befell 
htm. Once he was stabbed in a quarrel, once nearly 
drowned, once he fell from a high tree with an open knife 
in his hand, and once a horse ran away with him and 
dashed at full speed through a low and narrow passage. 
After his conversion to Christ some of his former ungodly 
oonq>anions waylaid him at night and unmercifully beat 
him so that he lost one eye in consequence. But God mer« 
Gtfully preserved him through all these trials. 



He left his cruel uncle at the age of seventeen, and 
soon afterwards, during a revival, he identified himself 
with the church. From an early age he had many religious 
impressions, but he did not decide for Christ until his sev- 
enteenth year. New desires then awoke in his soul and he 
began to study to learn to read, and to improve his mind. 
He soon felt a call to the ministry, and this feeling was 
deepened by a remarkable dream he had concerning the 
second coming of Christ. He felt that he was only a mass 
of sin and ignorance, and was much discouraged by his 
early efforts to preach. He memorized the prayers and 
sermons of others and tried to pray and preach them. 

In 1790 he was ordained by the Baptists and commenced 
work as a missionary among some of the htunbler churches. 
For three years before joining the Baptists he suffered 
much from doubts regarding his own conversion to Christ ; 
but soon after uniting with them all his burden of doubts 
rolled away and he received "the garment of praise for 
the spirit of heaviness." He was surprised at first to sec 
people brought to God through his ministry, but the Lord 
greatly blessed him and his meetings began to attract 
widespread attention. He made a tour of South Wales on 
foot and sometimes preached as many as five times during 
one Sunday. Although he was shabbily dressed and awk- 
ward, large crowds came to hear him preach, and often 
there were tears, weeping, and uncontrollable excitement. 
His sermons took great hold upon the people. 

At twenty-six years of age Evans began to preach 
among the churches on the island of Anglesea, on the 
Welsh coast, and there he. remained for twenty years 
preaching the gospel with much success. Here many of 
the churches had been carried away by the Sandemanian 
teachings, which seem to have been a form of extreme Cal- 


vinism, amounting to fatalism, depriving man of moral re- 
sponsibility. The leader of the sect was a brilliant and 
cultured orator, and for years Christmas Evans labored 
and preached to counteract his teachings. 

Evans' controversies with the Sandemanians brought 
him into a place where he had lost much of the spirit of 
prayer and sweetness so necessary for the enjo)mient of a 
Christian life. He felt an intense need and longing for a 
closer fellowship with God. He thus describes the manner 
in which he sought and obtained the richer and fuller 
Christian experience which he so much desired, and which 
set his soul on fire with divine unction and power such 
as he had never experienced before. " I was weary," says 
he, "of a cold heart towards Christ, and His atonement, 
and the work of His Spirit — of a cold heart in the pulpit, 
in secret prayer and in study; especially when I remem- 
bered that for fifteen years before that heart had been 
burning within me as if I were on the way toward Em- 
maus with Jesus. A day came at last, a day ever to be 
remembered by me, when I was on my way from Dolgelly 
to Machynlleth, and climbing up towards Cadair Idris. I 
felt it my duty to pray, though my heart was hard enough 
and my spirit worldly. After I had commenced pra3ring 
in the name of Jesus, I soon felt as if the shackles were 
falling off, and as if the mountains of snow and ice were 
melting within me. This engendered confidence in my 
mind for the promise of the Holy Ghost. I felt my whole 
spirit relieved of some great bondage, and as if it were 
rising up from the grave of a severe winter. My tears 
flowed copiously, and I was constrained to cry aloud and 
pray for the gracious visits of God, for the joy of his sal- 
vation, and that He would visit again the Churches in 
Anglesea that were under my care. I embraced in my sup- 


plications all of the churches, and prayed by name for most 
of the preachers of Wales. This struggle lasted for three 
hours. It would come over me again and again, like one 
wave after another, like a tide driven by a strong wind, 
until my physical power was greatly weakened by weeping 
and crying. Thus I gave myself up wholly to Christ, body 
and soul, talents and labors — all my life— every day, and 
every hour that remained to me, and all my cares I en- 
trusted into the hands of Christ. The road was mountain- 
ous and lonely, so that I was alone, and suffered no in- 
terruption in my wrestlings with God. This event caused 
me to expect a new revelation of God's goodness to my- 
self and the churches. Thus the Lord delivered me and 
the people of Anglesea from being swept away by the evils 
of Sandemanianism. In the first service I held after this 
event, I felt as if I had been removed from the cold and 
sterile r^on of spiritual ice, into the pleasant lands of 
the promises of God. The former striving with God in 
prayer, and the longing anxiety for the conversion of sin- 
ners, which I had experienced at Leyn, were now restored. 
I had a hold of the promise of God. The result was, when 
I returned home, the first thing that attracted my notice 
was, that the Spirit was working also in the brethren in 
Anglesea, inducing in them a spirit of prayer, especially 
in two of the deacons, who were particularly importunate 
that God should visit us in mercy, and render the Word 
of His grace effectual amongst us in the conversion of 

It was doubtless about the time of this remarkable ex- 
perience of the anointing of the Holy Spirit that Christmas 
Evans wrote " a solemn covenant with God," to every ar- 
ticle of which he signed his initials. This covenant of ooo- 
secration was as follows: 



I. I give my soul and body unto Thee, Jesus, tiie true 
God, and everlasting life; deliver us from sin, and from 
eternal death, and bring me into life everlasting. Amen. 
— C. E. 

II. I call the day, the sun, the earth, the trees, the 
stones, the bed, the table and the books, to witness that I 
come unto Thee, Redeemer of sinners, that I may obtain 
rest for my sot|l from the thunders of guilt and the dread 
of eternity. Amen. — C. E. 

III. I do, through confidence in Thy power, earnestly 
entreat Thee to take the work into Thme own hand, and 
give me a circumcised heart, that I may love Thee; and 
create in me a right spirit, that I may seek Thy glory. 
Grant me that principle which Thou wilt own in the day 
of judgment, that I may not then assume pale-facedness, 
and find myself a hypocrite. Grant me this, for the sake 
of Thy most precious blood. Amen. — C. E. 

IV. I entreat Thee, Jesus, the Son of God, in power, 
grant me, for the sake of Thy agonizing death, a covenant 
interest in Thy blood which deanseth; in Thy righteous- 
ness, which justifieth; and in Thy redemption, which de- 
livereth. I entreat an interest in Thy blood, f6r Thy 
blood's sake, and a part in Thee, for Thy name's sake, 
which Thou hast given among men. Amen. — C. E. 

V. O Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, take for 
the sake of Thy cruel death, my time, and strength, and 
the gifts and talents I possess ; which, with a full purpose 
of heart, I consecrate to Thy glory in the building up of 
Thy Church in the world, for Thou art worthy of the 
hearts and talents of men. Amen. — C. E. 

VL I desire Thee, my great High Priest, to confirm, 
by Thy power from Thy High Court, my usefulness as a 


preacher, and my piety as a Christian, as two gardens nigh 
to each other ; that sin may not have place in my heart to 
becloud my confidence in Thy righteousness, and that I 
may not be left to any foolish act that may occasion my 
gifts to wither, and I be rendered useless before my life 
ends. Keep Thy gracious eye upon me, and watch over 
me, O my Lord, and my God for ever ! Amen. — C. E. 

VII. I give myself in a particular manner to Thee, O 
Jesus Christ the Saviour, to be preserved from the falls 
into which many stumble, that Thy name (in Thy cause) 
may not be blasphemed or wounded, that my peace may 
not be injured, and that Thy people may not be grieved, 
and that Thine enemies may not be hardened. Amen. 

-<:. E. 

VIII. I come entreating Thee to enter into a covenant 
with me in my ministry. Oh, prosper me as Thou didst 
prosper Bunyan, Vavasor, Powell, Howell Harris, Row- 
lands, and Whitefield. The impediments in the way of my 
prosperity remove. Work in me the things approved of 
God that I may attain this. Give me a heart ''sick of 
love " to Thee, and to the souls of men. Grant that I may 
feel the power of Thy Word before preaching it, as Moses 
felt the power of his rod before he felt the eflFect of it 
on the land and waters of Egypt. For the sake of Thy 
precious blood, Jesus, my all in all, grant me this. Amen. 
-C. E. 

IX. Search me now, and lead me in the paths of judg- 
ment. May I see in this world what I really am in Thy 
sight, that I may not find myself otherwise when the light 
of eternity shall dawn upon me, and open my eyes in the 
brightness of immortality. Wash me in Thy redeeming 
blood. Amen. — C. E. 


X. Give me power to trust in Thee for food and rai- 
ment, and to make known my requests to Thee. O let Thy 
care be over me as a covenant privil^e betwixt Thee and 
me, and not simply as a general care which Thou shewest 
in feeding the ravens that perish and clothing the lily that 
is cast into the oven, but remember me as one of Thy fam- 
ily, and as one of Thy unworthy brethren. Amen. — C E. 

XI. Take upon Thyself, O Jesus, to prepare me for 
death, for Thou art God; and Thou needest but to speak 
the word. If it be possible — ^but Thy will be done — let 
me not linger in sickness, nor die a sudden death without 
bidding adieu to my brethren, but rather let me die with 
them around me, after a short illness. May everything be 
put in order ready for that day of passing from one world 
to another, so that there may be no confusion or disorder, 
but a passing away in peace. O grant me this for the 
sake of Thine agony in the garden. Amen. — C. E. 

XII. Grant, O blessed Lord, that no sin may be nour- 
ished or fostered in me which may cause Thee to cast me 
off from the work of Thy sanctuary, like the sons of Eli ; 
and, for the sake of Thine infinite merits, let not my days 
be longer than my usefulness. *Let me not become, at the 
end of my days, like a piece of lumber in the way of the 
usefulness of others. Amen. — C. E. 

Xm. I beseech Thee, my Redeemer, to present these 
supplications of mine before the Father; and oh, inscribe 
them in Thy book with Thine own immortal pen, while I 
am writing them with my mortal hand in my book on 
earth. According to the depths of Thy merit, and Thy in- 
finite grace, and Thy compassion, and Thy tenderness 
toward Thy people, O attach Thy name in Thine Upper 
Court to these humble supplications of mine ; and set Thine 
amen to them, even as I set mine on my side of the cov- 



cnant Amen.— CHRISTMAS EVANS, Uangevni, An- 
glesea, April 10, 1&— . 

After his entire consecration to God, and after receiv- 
ing the anointing of the Holy Spirit while he wrestled in 
prayer on his way from Dolgelly to Machyndleth. Christ- 
mas Evans b^;an to preach with a new miction and power. 
A great revival spread from preacher to people all over 
the island of Anglesea, and then over the whole of Wales. 
The people were often so wrought upon by Evan's ser- 
mons that they literally danced for joy, and their actions 
obtained for them the nick-name of " the Welsh jumpers." 
Often the audiences were moved to weeping and tears. 
Once when Evans preached concerning ** The Demoniac of 
Gadara," and vividly portrayed the deliverance of the de- 
moniac, the wonder of the people, and especially the joy 
of the demoniac's wife and children when he returned 
home healed and saved, the audience laughed and wept al- 
ternately. One biographer says that " the place was a per- 
fect Bochim for weeping." Shouts of prayer and praise 
mingled together. One who heard this wonderful sermon 
says, that, at last, the people seemed like the inhabitants 
of a city which had been shaken by an earthquake, that 
in their escape, rushed into the streets, falling upon the 
earth screaming, and calling upon God! 

''The powerful sermons, the breath of heaven, the 
weeping, the praising, the return of sinners to God," now 
characterized Evans' meetings wherever he went This 
was especially true when he preached his famous '' Grave- 
yard Sermon," in which he described the world as dead 
and buried in the graveyard of Law, with Justice guard- 
ing the gates but Mercy coming to unlock them. This ser- 
mon has been published almost everywhere. The preadiing 
of it brought conviction of sin like a deluge over the 


people. The scene resembled the one at Shotts, in Scotland, 
when five hundred persons professed conversion to Christ 
under the preaching of a sermon by John Livingston. It 
was similar to that at Llanidloes, Wales, when a thousand 
persons decided for Christ under one sermon preached by 
Michael Roberts. Or it resembled the time when twenty- 
five hundred persons were added to the churches as the 
result of one sermon preached by John Elias, the mighty 
Welsh preacher. 

Evans was "a man the spell of whose name, when he 
came into a neighborhood, could wake up all the sleepy 
villages, and bid their inhabitants pour along up by the 
hills, and down by the valleys, expectant crowds watching 
his appearance with tears, and sometimes hailing him with 
shouts." "It must be said, his are very great sermons/' says 
Rev. Paxton Hood, "the present writer is almost disposed 
to be bold enough to describe them, as the grandest Gospel 
sermons of the last hundred years/' One biographer de- 
scribes his manner while preaching as follows: "Christ- 
mas Evans, meantime, is pursuing his way, lost in his 
theme. Now his eye lights up, says one who knew him, 
Kke a brilliantly flashing star, his dear forehead expands, 
his form dilates in majestic dignity ; and all that has gone 
before will be lost in the white-heat passion with which 
he prepares to sing of Paradise lost and Paradise regained/' 

The anointing of the Holy Spirit was the great secret 
of Evans' power. Writing to a young minister, he says: 
"You will observe that some heavenly ornaments, and 
power from on high, are visible in many ministers when 
under the Divine irradiaticHi, which you cannot approach to 
by merely imitating their artistic excellence, without re- 
sembling them in their spiritual taste, fervency, and zeal 
which Christ and His Spirit 'work in them/ This will 


cause, not only your being like unto them in gracefulness 
of action, and propriety of elocuticHi, but will also induce 
prayer for the anointing of the Holy One, which worketh 
mightily in the inward man. This is the mystery of ef- 
fective preaching. We must be endued with power from 
on high/' Someone said to Evans, " Mr. Evans, you have 
not studied Dr. Blair's Rhetoric." Evans, to whom Dr. 
Blair with his rules was always as dry as Gilboa, replied: 
" Why do you say so when you just now saw hundreds 
weeping under the sermon ? That could not be, had I not 
first of all been influenced myself, which, you know, is the 
substance, and mystery, of all rules of speaking." 

Evans collected much money for the building of 
churches, the Baptist churches of Anglesea being more than 
doubled under his ministry. In one place where he was 
raising money to build a chapel, the money came very 
slowly although the audiences were very large. There had 
been much sheep-stealing in the neighborhood, and Evans 
decided to use this fact to advantage in collecting money. 
He told the people that undoubtedly some of the sheep- 
stealers must be present in the congregation, and he hoped 
that they would not throw any money into the collection. 
A big collection was taken. Those who did not have any 
money to give borrowed from their neighbors to put in 
the collection. 

"Dear old Christmas," as he was familiarly called in 
his old age, finished his course with joy, and fell asleep in 
Christ July 23, 1838, with a song of victory on his lips. 


Some one has said that all Spirit-filled Christians ap- 
pear peculiar or eccentric to the people of the world, be- 
cause "'the natural man receiveth not the things of the 
Spirit of God" (i Cor. 2: 14). This was especially true 
of Lorenzo Dow, the quaint but famous pioneer Methodist 
preacher, who, about the beginning of the hineteenth cen- 
tury, traveled about the world on foot and on horseback, 
preaching the Gospel to tens of thousands, and winning 
multitudes to Christ 

In his character Lorenzo Dow very much resembled 
John Bunyan, but he seems to have had a quiet vein of 
humor which was lacking in the latter. Like Bunyan he 
went astray with wicked boys in his youth, and learned 
many of their ways. Like Bunyan he was haunted by ter- 
rible dreams and visions. And like Bunyan he was 
plunged into awful agony and despair by imagining that 
God had reprobated, or predestined, him to be damned. 

Lorenzo Dow was bom in Connecticut, October 16, 
1777. His parents were bom in the same town, but were 
descended from English ancestors. They had a son and 
four daughters beside Lorenzo, who was next to the young- 
est. They tried to educate the children well both in re- 
ligion and common learning. Lorenzo came near dying 
when two years of age, and he always suffered from a weak 
constitution. When he was between three and four year9 



of age, he was one day playing with a companion when 
he fell into so deep a muse concerning God and heaven 
that he forgot about his play. He asked his companion if 
he ever said his prayers, morning or night; and when his 
friend replied " no," Lorenzo said, " Then you are wicked 
and I will not play with you," and he went into the house. 
When Lorenzo was eight years of age, his parents removed 
to another vicinity, the youth of which were very vile, 
wicked and corrupt. He soon learned their ways, and his 
serious thoughts and impressions soon left him. But one 
day he killed a bird, and the sight of it gasping struck hor- 
ror to his heart, as it made him think of death, and be 
was afraid to die. 

At ten years of age he promised to serve God if He 
would restore his sick friend to health. " God granted my 
desire," says he, "but I soon forgot my promise." Later 
he promised to serve God if he should get the prize in a 
certain draw or lottery. " No sooner had I got the prize, 
which was a shilling, than I brake my promise," says he. 

When past the age of thirteen, and about the time Wes- 
ley died (1791), he had a vision in which Wesley appeared 
to him three times in succession and warned him that be 
had better pray. " Keen conviction seized my heart," says 
he. " I knew I was unprepared to die. Tears began to 
run down plentifully, and I again resolved to seek the sal- 
vation of my soul." After this he broke off from his old 
companions and sought earnestly for salvation; but he 
had no one to pray for him and show him how to be saved. 
He was also greatly troubled over the doctrine of uncon- 
ditional election, or predestination, as taught by many in 
those days. Referring to his dream about Wesley, he says: 
"Frequently before and after the above, the enemy of 
souls harassed me much with the forementioncd doctrine 


of reprobation, etc., my view of which excited such enmity 
and rage against the Supreme Being, as the author of my 
most wretched helpless fate, that I cursed and swore, and 
blasphemed His name, throwing sticks and stones toward 
heaven, defying Him to come down and destroy me. It 
seemed as if I were unable to refrain from acting often in 
this manner." Through brooding over the matter, he be- 
came so fully persuaded that he was predestined to be 
damned that he decided to take his own life. Loading a 
gun he went out into the woods for the purpose, but when 
he was about to pull the trigger he decided to wait a little 
while longer before taking his life. 

About this time the Methodists came to his town. They 
were everywhere spoken against, but he concluded that if 
he was one of God's elect they could do him no harm, and 
if he was eternally reprobated they could do him no injury, 
and he went to their meetings. He was somewhat sur- 
prised to see that the Methodists looked very much like 
other people. The preacher, Hope Hull, described his con- 
dition so accurately that he had to hold on to his cousin to 
keep from falling off his seat, so great was his agitation. 
People were being converted all around him and his con- 
viction became almost unendurable. He went to a prayer- 
meeting, and his conviction of 'n became so overwhelming 
that he fell down on the road several times on his way 
home, and he hardly realized what he was doing. Reach- 
ing home he prayed for hours until he fell into a slumber 
from pure exhaustion. He then had a fearful vision of 
hell. In his suffering he awoke, " and, oh ! how glad I was 
to find that it was only a dream," says he. He began to 
pray earnestly, and finally said, " Lord ! I give up ; I sub- 
mit; I yield; I yield; if there be mercy in heaven for me, 
let me know it; and if not, let me go down to hell and 


know the worst of my case. As these words flowed from 
my heart/' says he, "I saw the Mediator step in, as it 
were, between the Father's justice and my soul, and these 
words were applied to my mind with great power : * Son, 
thy sins which are many are forgiven thee; thy faith hath 
saved thee ; go in peace/ 

'' The burden of sin and guilt and the fear of hell van- 
ished from my mind, as perceptibly as a hundred pounds 
weight falling from a man's shoulder; my soul flowed out 
in love to God, to His ways and to His people; yea, and 
to all mankind/' 

Having found the Saviour, he immediately wanted to 
tell others. "My soul was so happy," says he, "that I 
could scarcely settle to work ; and I spent the greatest part 
of the day in going from house to house through the neigh- 
borhood, to tell the people what God had done for me." 

He soon felt a powerful call to preach the gospel ; but 
felt that he was only an illiterate child, and resisted the 
call as a temptation from the devil. The more he re- 
sisted the call, the greater was his misery. He tried in 
every way to get rid of the impression that he must preacu, 
but the hand of God was heavy jupon him. Like Jonah, he 
was afflicted in soul and body until he was literally com- 
pelled to preach. After he began to preach, he met with 
so many discouragements that he tried again and again to 
stop preaching, but the hand of affliction was so heavy 
upon him that he was forced to beg^n again. He said that 
God showed him plainly that he could not live unless he 
preached the gospel, and that if he stopped preaching he 
would die. Like the Apostle Paul, he could say, "For 
though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: 
for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I 
preach not the gospel ! For if I do this thing willingly, I 
have a reward; but if against my will, a dispensation of 


the gospel is committed unto me" (i Cor. 9:16, 17). 
Lorenzo sometimes resolved that saved or damned he would 
not preachy but intense physical suffering compelled him 
to change his mind, and then his health would improve. 
He once had a vision of Justice ready to cut him down if 
he did not preach the gospel. He seems to have been 
taught many things in dreams and visions, of which he 
had more than almost any other person with whose his- 
tory the writer is acquainted. 

He was licensed to preach by the Methodists, and in 
1796, at the age of 19, he became an itinerant preacher. 
His presiding elder and others criticised his ignorance, his 
behaviour, his conceit, his manner of preaching, and so 
on, until his heart was almost ready to break with discour- 
agement, and he longed to stop preaching. Sometimes the 
conference took away his credentials, and he sought to 
hold this up to God as an excuse for not preaching, but 
the hand of the Lord was heavy upon him until he re- 
sumed his preaching. 

Dow's manner of preaching was bold, full of zeal, 
and so uncompromising as to arouse the anger of many; 
but God blessed his labors in many places, though in others 
he could scarcely obtain a hearing. Often in his early 
ministry his clothes were worn out, and he had no money 
to buy new ones, but in some way or other the Lord al- 
ways supplied his need. 

In 1796, while still in his nineteenth year, Dow was 
deeply convinced of his need of a deeper spiritual experi- 
ence. During that year he wrote : " I never felt the 
plague of a hard heart as I do of late, nor so much faith 
as I now have that inbred corruption will be done away, 
and I filled with perfect peace, and enabled to rejoice ever- 


Referring to this period, he also says : " Sometimes I 
was so happy, and the times so powerful, I would hope 
' the winter was past and gone/ But soon it would return 

From his Journal, of Sunday, May 23, 1802, we copy 
the following account of how he obtained the deeper spir- 
itual experience for which his soul was craving: 

"When I was on the Orange (Connecticut) Circuit," 
says he, " I felt something within that needed to be done 
away. I spake to one and another concerning the pain I 
felt in my happiest moments, which caused a burden but 
not guilt; some said one thing and some another; but none 
spoke to my case, but seemed to be like physicians that 
did not understand the nature of my disorder; thus the 
burden continued, and sometimes felt greater than the bur- 
den of guilt for justification, until I fell in with T. Dewey, 
on Cambridge Circuit. He told me about Calvin Wooster, 
in Upper Canada, that he enjoyed the blessing of sanctifi- 
cation, and had a miracle wrought in his body, in some 
sense; the course of nature turned in consequence, and 
he was much owned and blessed of God in his ministerial 
labors. I felt a great desire arise in my heart to see the 
man, if it might be consistent with the Divine will; and 
not long after I heard he was passing through the circuit 
and going home to die. I immediately rode five miles to 
the house; but found he was gone another five miles fur- 
ther. I went into the room where he was asleep; he ap- 
peared to be more like one from the eternal world, than 
like one of my fellow mortals. I told him, when he awoke, 
who I was and what I had come for. Said he: 'God 
has convicted you for the blessing of sanctification, and 
that Blessing is to be obtained by the single act of faith, 
the same as the blessing of justification. I persuaded him 
to tarry in the neighborhood a few days ; and a couple of 


evenings after the above, after I had done speaking one 
evening, he spake, or rather whispered out an exhortation, 
as his voice was so broken, in consequence of praying, in 
the stir of the Upper Canada, as from twenty to thirty 
were frequently blessed at a meeting. He told me that if 
he could get a sinner under conviction, crying for mercy, 
they would kneel down a dozen of them, and not rise un- 
til he found peace; for, said he, we did believe that God 
would bless him, and it was according to our faith. 

"At this time he was in a consumption, and a few 
weeks after expired ; and his last words were, as I am in- 
formed, ' Ye must be sanctified or be damned,' and casting 
a look upwards, went out like the snuff of a candle, with- 
out terror; and while whispering out the above esdiorta- 
tion, the power which attended the same, reached the hearts 
of the people ; and some who were standing or sitting, fell 
like men shot in the field of battle ; and I felt a tremor to 
run through my soul and every vein, so that it took away 
my limb power, so that I fell to the floor, and by faith, 
saw a greater blessing than I had hitherto experienced, or 
in other words, felt a Divine conviction of the need of a 
deeper work of grace in my soul ; feeling some of the re- 
mains of the evil nature, the effect of Adam's fall, still 
remaining, and it my privilege to have it eradicated or 
done away; my soul was in an agony — I could but groan 
out my desire to God — He came to me, and said, believe 
the blessing is now; no sooner had the words dropped 
from his lips, than I strove to believe the blessing mine 
now, with all the powers of my soul, then the burden 
dropped or fell from my heart, and a solid joy, and a 
gentle running peace filled my soul. 

" From that time to this I have not had the ecstacy of 
joy or that downcast of spirit as formerly; but more of 
an inward, simple, sweet running peace from day to day, 


so that prosperity or adversity doth not produce the ups 
and downs as formerly; but my soul is more like the 
ocean, whilst the surface is uneven by reason of the bois- 
terous wind, the bottom is still calm; so that a man may 
be in the midst of outward difficulties, and yet the center 
of the soul may be stayed on God; the perfections of 
angels are such, that they cannot fall away; which some 
think is attainable by mortals here; but I think we can- 
not be perfect as God, for absolute perfection belongs to 
Him alone ; neither as perfect as angels, nor even as Adam 
before he fell, because our bodies are now mortal, and 
tend to clog the mind, and weigh the spirit down; never- 
theless, I do believe, that a man may drink in the Spirit 
of God, so far as to live without committing wilful, or 
known, or malicious sins against God, but to have love 
the ruling principle within, and what we say or do to 
flow from that Divine principle of love and not from a 
sense of duty, though subject to trials, temptations, and 
mistakes at the same time." 

After receiving the experience described above, Lorenzo 
Dow met with much greater success in his preaching. Dur- 
ing the same year, 1796, his meetings kindled a revival 
flame that spread to a number of places. In 1797 his 
whole circuit was stirred into a flame of revival and this 
made his conference regard him more favorably. God 
greatly blessed his labors. Crowds flocked to hear him, 
and multitudes were seized with deep conviction of sin 
and were led to Qirist under his preaching. Wherever 
he went, whether in America, England, or Ireland, similar 
results followed his labors. Sometimes the people flocked 
together in thousands to hear him, and they were coii- 
verted to Christ by the scores. In one place the people 
were crying for mercy for eleven hours without interrup- 
tion. Dow's unique methods of presenting the truth, and 


the remarkable results attending his labors, made him fa- 
mous the world over. When he entered a city and hegsok 
preaching, the effects of his sermons were soon noticeable 
in the solenm countenances of the people as they walked 
along the streets. He held many great camp-meetings in 
which from one to ten thousand people heard his preach- 
ing. He was so careful to follow the leadings of the Holy 
Spirit in all that he did that one preacher said concern- 
ing him, " He is Quakerized." 

There were some strange manifestations in the meet- 
ings held by Dow, as in the meetings held by Peter Cart- 
wright and in the great revivals at the b^^ning and near 
the middle of the nineteenth century. The most remark- 
able of these were the exercises known as "the jerks," 
which were so prominent a feature in the great Cumber- 
land Revival. People of all denominations, and many who 
were not professing Christians, were seized with the jerk- 
ing exercises. But it was principally the persecutors, scof- 
fers, or half-hearted, among professing Christians who 
suffered with this strange "visitation from God," as some 
have called it "Trembling took hold of the hypocrites," 
says Dow. Writing concerning this jerking exercise, he 
says : " The wicked are more afraid of it than the small- 
pox or yellow fever ; these are subject to it ; but the perse- 
cutors are more subject to it than any, and they sometimes 
have cursed, and swore, and damned it whilst jerking. 
There is no pain attending the jerks, except they resist it, 
which if they do, it will weary them more in an hour than 
a day's labor ; which shows that it requires the consent of 
die wiU to avoid suffering." 

Describing oncf of his great meetings, held in 1804, Dow 
says : " I observed about thirty to have the jerks, though 
tiicy strove to keq> still as they could; these emotions were 


involuntary and irresistible, as any unprejudiced eye might 

Describing another of his meeting in which there were 
some remarkable physical manifestations, he says : " Soon 
nine were sprawling on the ground, and some were ap- 
parently lifeless. The doctors supposed they had fainted, 
and desired water and fans to be used. I replied, ' Hush I' 
Then to show the folly of my ideas, they attempted to 
determine it with their skill, but to their surprise, their 
pulse was regular. Some said, ' It is fictitious, they make 
it.' I answered, * The weather is warm, and we are in a 
perspiration, whilst they are as cold as corpses, which can- 
not be done by human art.' 

" Here some supposing they were dying, whilst others 
suggested, ' It is the work of the devil,' I observed, * If it 
be the devil's work, they will use the dialect of hell when 
they come to.' Some watched my words, in great solem- 
nity, and the first and the second were soon brought 
through, happy, and all in the course of the night." 

So remarkable was the power manifested in Dow's 
meetings, and so numerous were his dreams and visions 
which came true, many looked upon him as having super- 
natural powers. They thought he could detect criminals, 
cure the sick, and so on. Several amusing incidents are 
related concerning the manner in which he detected thieves 
when people insisted that he should do so. While travel- 
ing one Sunday to a place where he had an appointment 
to preach, Dow overheard a man swearing bitterly. He 
went up to him and asked him the cause. The man an- 
swered that he had an axe stolen the night before. " Come 
along with me to the meeting," said Dow, " and I will find 
your axe." The man consented, and when they arrived 
near the church, Dow stopped and picked up a large stone, 
which he carried with him into the church, and laid upoQ 


the front of tiie pulpit. The subject of his sermon was 
very well fitted to this particular object, and when in the 
midst of it, he stopped short, took the stone in his hand, 
and, raising it, with a threatening attitude, said: "A man 
in this neighborhood had an axe stolen last night, and if 
Ae person who stole it does not dodge, I will hit him on 
the forehead with this stone," at the same time making a 
violent gesture as if he were about to throw the stone, as 
he swung round in the pulpit. A person present was ob- 
served to dodge his head violently, and he proved to be 
the guilty person. 

In another place a person who had been robbed en- 
treated Dow to discover the thief. Dow told him to gather 
all the suspected persons into a certain room, and to get 
a black pot and a rooster. He did so, and Dow put the 
rooster under the pot, and then had the room darkened. 
He then explained that he wanted every one present to go 
up to the pot in the dark, and to touch it with his fingers, 
and assured them that when the guilty person touched the 
pot the rooster would crow. After all had gone up to tlie 
pot the room was lighted, and it was discovered that one 
person present had no soot on his fingers. He had been 
afraid to touch the pot, and afterwards proved to be the 
guilty person. 

The above incidents are fair samples of the many novel 
and eccentric doings of Lorenzo Dow. In 1799 he went 
to Ireland, and while riding on a canal boat there he ob- 
served that there was much gambling on the boat. He 
tried to purchase the cards from the captain, but he re- 
fused to sell them. He finally gave the deck of cards to 
Dow, who surprised him by throwing them overboard. 
The gamblers were afterward convicted of sin. At Hack- 
lestown, Ireland, two young ladies in a home where Dow 
remained over night were deeply absorbed in fixing some 


fashionable superfluities on their clothes. Dow said to 
them: ''Every time you wear them, remember another 
suit you'll have, the muffler and winding sheet" This made 
such an impression upon their minds that they were both 
brought to Christ as a result. 

Unique as Dow's methods were, they were often owned 
of God. Sometimes he told the people that he would ask 
God to send some sickness on them if they did not repent 
One time he hired a servant to pray for a whqle day. She 
said that she did not have time to pray, and he gave her 
a dollar for her day's time, with the understancUng that 
she was to spend the time in prayer. At another place 
Dow urged a young lady to decide whom she would serve, 
God or the Devil. She chose the latter, but was converted 
to Christ soon afterward. At one place where Dow was 
preaching, the young men would leave the meeting when 
the preaching became too powerful for them. Here Dow 
preached with his back against the door to keep them from 
going out, and about two-thirds of them were brought 
under deep conviction of sin. 

In 1834, at the age of 57, Lorenzo Dow laid down his 
cross and took up his crown. He endured much suffering 
for the sake of his Master, but he won many souls to Christi 
and will shine as the stars for ever and ever. 

In personal appearance Dow was about 5 feet, 10 inches 
in height, was rather light complexioned, and much marked 
with the small-pox. He had small, light eyes, dark-brown 
hair and eye-brows, small features and short visage. The 
originality of his methods is shown even in the title of 
his diary, or journal, which is, ''The Dealings of God, 
Man, and the Devil; as Exemplified in the Life, Experi- 
ence, and Travels of Lorenzo Dow.'' 

Peter Cartwriget 


III the front rank of the pioneer Methodist preachers 
of America was Peter Cartwright. He was famous not 
because of his education or learning, for he had but little 
of these. But his great spiritual power and native com- 
mon sense and shrewdness made him known all over Amer- 
ica and in many other lands as well. ''It must be re- 
membered," says he, "that many of us early traveling 
preachers, who entered the vast wilderness of the West 
at an early day, had little or no education, no books, and 
no time to read or study them if we could have had them/' 

Peter Cartwright was one of the principal agents used 
of God in the great revival near the beginning of the nine- 
teenth century. Few, if any, other preachers ever con- 
ducted so many camp-meetings or conducted them with so 
great success. We might almost say that Cartwright was 
without a peer as a camp-meeting preacher. In his "Auto- 
biography " he has related many thrilling incidents, htmior- 
ous or otherwise, concerning his experiences in camp-meet- 
ings and elsewhere. 

Cartwright was bom in Virginia in 1785. His parents 
were poor. They soon moved to the backwoods of Ken- 
tucky, where Cartwright grew up without an education. 
His mother was a Methodist, but his father was an unbe- 
liever. Occasionally a Methodist itinerant preacher would 
visit their cabin. Finally a little church was organized near 
them. Many criminals and desperate characters had fled 


to this frontier settlement, and it was called ''Rogues' 
Harbor/' There was no newspaper or regular school with- 
in forty miles of the place. Almost everything eaten by 
the people was grown by them, and the clothes they wore 
were home-spun from cotton raised by themselves. They 
had but little communication with the outside world. 

Cartwright says : " I was naturally a wild, wicked boy, 
and delighted in horse-racing, card-playing and dancing. 
My father restrained me but little, though my mother often 
talked to me, wept over me, and prayed for me, often drew 
tears from my eyes ; and though I often wept under preach- 
ing and resolved to do better and seek religion, yet I broke 
my vows, went into young company, rode races, played 
cards and danced." 

After a school was started in his neighborhood. Cart- 
wright attended it for a short time, but the teacher was 
a poor one and Cartwright made but little progress in his 
studies. He says : " I, however, learned to read, write, 
and cipher a little, but very imperfectly." As time rolled 
on the population increased, civilization advanced,' and a 
number of churches sprang up in the community. About 
this time the great Cumberland Revival began. 

Describing the beginning of the famous Cumberland 
Revival, Cartwright says: "Somewhere between 1800 
and 1801, in the upper part of Kentucky, at a memorable 
place called * Cane Ridge/ there was appointed a sacra- 
mental meeting by some of the Presbyterian ministers; at 
which meeting, seemingly unexpected by ministers or peo- 
ple, the mighty power of God was displayed in a very ex- 
traordinary manner; many were moved to tears and cried 
aloud for mercy." This was the beginning of one of the 
greatest revivals of religion known to history. " The meet- 
ing was protracted for weeks/* continues Cartwright. Min- 
isters of almost all denominations flocked in from far and 


Hear. The meeting was kept up by night and day. Thou- 
sands heard of tiie mighty work, and came on foot, on 
horseback, in carriages and wagons. It is supposed that 
there were in attendance at times during the meeting from 
twelve to twenty-five thousand people. Hundreds fell pros- 
trate under the mighty power of God, as men slain in 

" From this camp-meeting," he adds later, " for so it 
ought to be called, the news spread through all the churches, 
and through all the land, and it excited great wonder and 
surprise; but it kindled a religious flame that spread all 
over Kentucky, and through many other States. And I 
may here be permitted to say, that this was the first camp- 
meeting ever held in the United States, and here our camp- 
meetings took their rise." 

The revival spread to Cartwright's neighborhood, and a 
great camp-meeting was held there. The people crowded 
to this camp-meeting from far and near. "The power of 
God was wonderfully displayed;" sa)rs he, "scores of sin- 
ners fell under the preaching, like men slain in a mighty 
battle; Christians shouted aloud for joy." 

Cartwright had previously been convicted of sin, and 
he went to this camp-meeting feeling that he was a lost, 
undone sinner, and he was even tempted to believe that 
he was forever reprobate, although he did not endorse the 
doctrines of unconditional election and reprobation. He 
says : " In 1801, when I was in my sixteenth year, my 
father, my eldest half-brother, and myself, attenddd a 
wedding about five miles from home, where there was a 
great deal of drinking and dancing, which was very com- 
mon in marriages in those days. I drank little or noth- 
ing; my delight was in dancing. After a late hour in the 
night we mounted our horses and started for home. I was 
riding my race-horse. 


** A few minutes after we had put up the horses, and 
were sitting by the fire, I began to reflect on the manner 
in which I had spent the day and evening. I felt guilty 
and condemned. I rose and walked the floor. My mother 
was in bed. It seemed to me, all of a sudden, my blood 
rushed to my head, my heart palpitated, in a few minutes 
I turned blind; an awful impression rested on my mind 
that death had come, and I was unprepared to die. I fell 
on my knees, and began to ask God to have mercy on me.** 

His mother, hearing him praying, was soon at his side. 
They prayed long and earnestly. Finally he went to bed, 
after promising the Lord that he would seek until he found 
salvation. Next morning he rose "feeling wretched be- 
yond expression." He sold his race-horse, burned his pack 
of cards, and tried to read the Bible and pray. '* I was 
so distressed and miserable," says he, "that I was incsp- 
able of any regular business." He agonized and prayed 
for days in this wretched, miserable condition. Three 
months passed by and still he did not find the pardon of 
his sins. It was at this time that the great camp-meeting 
already described began in his neighborhood. "To this 
meeting I repaired," says he, "a guilty miserable sinner. 
On the Saturday evening of said meeting, I went with 
weeping multitudes, and bowed before the stand, and earn- 
estly prayed for mercy. In the midst of a solemn struggle 
of soul, an impression was made on my mind, as though 
a voice said to me, * Thy sins are all forgiven thee/ Di- 
vine light flashed all around me, unspeakable joy sprung 
up in my soul. I rose to my feet, opened my eyes, and 
it really seemed as if I was in heaven ; the trees, the leaves 
on them, and everything seemed, and I really thought were, 
praising God. My mother raised the shout, my Christian 
friends crowded around me, and joined me in praising 

Peter cartwright 233 

God ; and though I have been since then, in many instances, 
unfaithful, yet I have never, for one moment, doubted that 
the Lord did, then and there, forgive my sins, and give me 

Cartwright joined the Methodist Church the same year 
that he was converted to Christ. He went to several camp- 
meetings among the Methodists and Presbyterians, and 
took quite an active part in the meetings. " I was enjoy- 
ing great comfort and peace/' says he. 

Next year after his conversion, tQ Christ, Cartwright 
was given an exhorter's license. He had already exhorted 
some when he felt led of the Spirit to do so, but he was 
not expecting any license from the Church. In the fall of 
the same year his presiding elder gave him permission to 
form a circuit, in the new region of Kentucky to which 
he was then moving. " I told him," says Cartwright, " just 
to give me a simple letter of membership; that, although 
I did feel at times that it was my duty to preach, I had 
little education, and it was my intention to go to school 
next year." After moving to the new region of Kentucky, 
Cartwright attended school, but was so persecuted on ac- 
count of his religion that he soon gave up school and bq;an 
to organize a circuit and engage in the work of the min- 
istry. He had good success, organized a number of class- 
meetings, and had many conversions. 

Cartwright describes his call to the ministry and his 
entire consecration and enduement with power from on 
high as follows : 

"Brother Garret, the new elder, called on me at my 
father's and urged me to go on this Circuit with Brother 
Lotspeich. My father was unwilling, but my mother 
urged me to go, and finally prevailed This was in Oc- 
tober, 1803, when I was a little over eighteen years of 


age. I had a hard struggle to give my consent, and al- 
though I thought it my duty to preach, yet I thought I 
could do this, and not throw myself into the ranks as a 
circuit preacher, when I was liable to be sent from Green- 
brier to Natchez ; no members hardly to support a preacher, 
the Discipline only allowing a single man eighty dollars, 
and in nine cases out of ten he could not get half that 
amount. These were times that tried men's souls and 
bodies too. 

" At last I literally gave up the world, and started, bid- 
ding farewell to father and mother, brothers and sisters, 
and met brother Lotspeich at an appointment in Lpgan 
County. He told me I must preach that night. This I had 
never done; mine was an exhorter's dispensation. I tried 
to beg off, but he urged me to make the effort. I went 
out and prayed fervently for aid from heaven. All at once 
it seemed to me as if I could never preach at all, but I 
struggled in prayer. At length I asked God, if He had 
called me to preach, to give me aid that night, and give me 
one soul, that is, convert one soul under my preaching, as 
evidence that I was called to this work. 

" I went into the house, took my stand, gave out a 
hymn, sang, and prayed. I then rose, gave them for a 
text Isaiah xxvi. 4 : * Trust ye in the Lord for ever ; for 
in the Lord Jehovah there is everlasting strength.' The 
Lord gave light, liberty, and power ; the congregation was 
melted into tears. There was present a professed infidel. 
The word reached his heart by the eternal Spirit. He was 
powerfully convicted, and, as I believe, soundly converted 
to God that night, and joined the Church, and afterward 
became a useful member of the same." 

Cartwright must have received the baptism of the Spirit 
in power while preaching that night. He felt his utter in* 


ability to preach without power from God, and wrestled 
in prayer, like Jacob of old, until he obtained the blessing. 
He was then nineteen years of age. He continued to preach 
with great unction and power. His meetings were at- 
tended by marvellous manifestations of spiritual power, 
and multitudes of souls were won to Christ in them. Often 
people were stricken down in his meetings under an over- 
whelming conviction of sin. He had no sympathy with 
fleshly excitements in his meetings, and always checked 
them with an iron hand; and yet on the other hand he 
was careful not to grieve the Spirit of God by checking or 
quenching any genuine work or manifestation of the Holy 
Spirit. He frequently describes his meetings in words such 
as diese: ''Suddenly an awful power fell on the congre- 
gation, and they instantly fell right and left, and cried aloud 
for mercy." 

He describes one camp-meeting thus : " The encamp- 
ment was lighted up, the trumpet blown, I rose in the stand, 
and required every soul to leave the tents and come into 
the congregation. There was a general rush to the stand. 
I requested the brethren, if ever they prayed in all their 
lives, to pray now. My voice was strong and clear^ and 
my preaching was more of an exhortation and encourage- 
ment than anything else. My text was, * The gates of hell 
shall not prevail.' In about thirty minutes the power of 
God fell on the congregation in such a manner as is sel- 
dom seen ; the people fell in every direction, right and left, 
front and rear. It was supposed that not less than three 
hundred fell like dead men in mighty battle; and there 
was no need of calling mourners, for they were strewed 
all over the camp-ground ; loud wailings went up to heaven 
from sinners for mercy, and a general shout from Chris- 
tians, so that the noise was heard afar off." 


In another place Cartwright says: "At our Brecken- 
ridge Circuit camp-meeting the following incident occurred. 
There were a brother S. and family, who were the owners 
of a good many slaves. It was a fine family, and sister S. 
was a very intelligent lady, and an exemplary Christian. 
She had long sought the blessing of perfect love, but she 
said the idea of holding her fellow-beings in bondage stood 
out in her way. Many in this meeting sought and obtained 
the blessing of sanctification ; Sister S. said her whole soul 
was in an agony for that blessing, and it seemed to her 
at times that she could almost lay hold, and claim the prom- 
ise, but she said her slaves would seem to step right in 
between her and her Saviour, and prevent its reception; 
but while on her knees, and struggling as in an agony for 
a clean heart, she then and there covenanted with the Lord, 
if He would give her the blessing, she would give up her 
slaves and set them free. She said this covenant had 
hardly been made one moment when God filled her soul 
with such an overwhelming sense of Divine love, that she 
did not really know whether she was in or out of the body. 
She rose from her knees, and proclaimed to listening hun- 
dreds that she had obtained the blessing, and also the terms 
on which she obtained it. She went through the vast crowd 
with holy shouts of joy, and exhorting all to taste and see 
that the Lord was gracious; and such a power attended 
her words that hundreds fell to the ground, and scores of 
souls were happily bom into the kingdom of God that 
afternoon and during the night. Shortly after this they 
set their slaves free, and the end of that family was peace.'' 

While passing over the Cumberland Mountains one 
time, Cartwright was compelled to stop over night at a 
house where there was to be a dance. Many of the people 
had never heard a sermon. Cartwright sat in one comer 



of the room watching the dance. He made up his mind 
to stay over next day (Sunday) and preach to the people. 
I had hardly settled this point in my mind/' says he, 
when a beautiful ruddy young lady walked very grace- 
fully up to me, dropped a handsome courtesy, and pleas- 
antly, with winning smiles, invited me out to take a dance 
with her. I can hardly describe my thoughts or feeling 
on that occasion. However, in a moment I resolved on a 
desperate experiment. I rose as gracefully as I could; I 
will not say with some emotion, but with many emotions. 
The young lady moved to my right side ; I grasped her right 
hand with my right hand, while she leaned her left arm 
on mine. In this position we walked on the floor. The 
whole company seemed pleased at this act of politeness in 
the young lady, shown to a stranger. The colored man, 
who was the fiddler, began to put his fiddle in the best 
order. I then spoke to the fiddler to hold a moment, and 
added that for several years I had not undertaken any mat- 
ter of importance without first asking the blessing of God 
upon it, and I desired now to ask the blessing of God upon 
this beautiful young lady and the whole company, that had 
shown such an act of politeness to a total stranger. 

" Here I grasped the young lady's hand tightly, and 
said, * Let us all kneel down and pray,' and then instantly 
dropped on my knees, and commenced praying with all the 
power of soul and body that I could command. The young 
lady tried to get loose from me, but I held her tight. Pres- 
ently she fell on her knees. Some of the company kneeled, 
some stood, some fled, some sat still, all looked curious. 
The fiddler ran off into the kitchen, saying, ' Lord a marcy, 
what de matter ? what is dat mean ? ' 

" While I prayed, some wept, and wept out aloud, and 
some cried for mercy. I rose from my knees and com- 


menced an exhortation, after which I sang a hymn. The 
young lady who invited me on the floor lay prostrate, cry- 
ing for mercy. I exhorted again, I sang and prayed nearly 
all night. About fifteen of that company professed re- 
ligion, and our meeting lasted next day and next night, 
and as many more were powerfully converted. I organ- 
ized a society, took thirty-two into the church, and sent 
them a preacher. My landlord was appointed leader, which 
post he held for many years. This was the commencement 
of a great and glorious revival of religion in that region of 
the country, and several of the young men converted at the 
Methodist preacher's dance became useful ministers of Je- 
sus Christ. 

In one of Cartwright's camp-meetings a little preacher, 
fresh from the theological seminary, began to teach the 
inquirers at the altar, just to resolve to be a Christian and 
that would make them Christians. Cartwright objected to 
this, and sent him out into the audience to exhort. The 
power of God fell on a big man, weighing about 230 
pounds, and he began to cry for mercy. The little preacher 
exhorted him to "be composed," but he prayed on until 
his soul was filled with joy. Then, in his ecstasy, he 
picked up the little preacher, and ran about with him in 
his arms, dancing for joy. The little preacher was pale 
with fright, and was never seen again on the camp-ground. 

At one appointment where the people had never heard 
Cartwright preach, the weather was so bad that on the first 
day only one person, a one-eyed man who was an elder 
in the Presbyterian Church, came to hear him. He 
preached his best for forty-five minutes. The elder spread 
the news that it was the greatest sermon he ever heard. 
Next time Cartwright found the house crowded to over- 


flowing and the whole hillside covered with horses and ve- 

Many persons in Cartwright's meetings were seized with 
the strange exercise known as the "jerks." All over the 
country this phenomenon accompanied the great Cumber- 
land Revival. Some regarded it as a purely nervous af- 
fection caused by suggestion, while others regarded it as 
a peculiar manifestation or operation of the Holy Spirit, 
Individuals seemed seized by a strange power which 
caused them to jerk in a most mysterious manner, and the 
more they resisted the more they jerked. Cartwright says : 
" To see those proud young gentlemen and ladies, dressed 
in their silks, jewelry and prunella, from top to toe, take 
the jerks, would often excite my risibilities. The first jerk 
or so, you would see their fine bonnets, caps, and combs 
fly; and so sudden would be the jerking of the head, that 
their long loose hair would crack almost as loud as a wag- 
goner's whip." 

Cartwright regarded the "jerks" as a genuine mani- 
festation of God's Spirit, although he believed that excite- 
ment often led people to counterfeit them. He says : " I 
always looked upon the jerks as a judgment sent from 
God, first, to bring sinners to repentance; and, secondly, 
to show professors that God could work with or without 
means." He tells of a drinking man who resisted the 
"jerks" until they came to him so severely that when he 
swore he would drink them off, and tried to raise a bottle 
of whiskey to his lips, a jerk more severe than before broke 
his neck. This happened at Cane Ridge, Kentucky, and 
brought great conviction of sin on the people. 

Cartwright was a large, square-shouldered man, with 
some native ruggedness mingled with considerable humor. 
His strength was sometimes used to quiet the rowdies who 


tried to disturb his meetings. His creed was ''to love 
everybody and fear nobody/' and he sometimes thrashed 
the worst rowdies and then proceeded with the meeting. 
He saw nothing inconsistent in a Christian thrashing dis- 
turbers of religious services, so long as it was done in a 
spirit of love and not in a spirit of revenge. 

Cartwright's sense of htunor is shown in the follow- 
ing amusing incident. Like many other pioneer Methodist 
preachers, he had but little education. A learned minister 
of another denomination once addressed him publicly in 
Greek, in order to bring him into contempt for his ignor- 
ance. Cartwright listened as though he understood it all, 
and then replied in German, of which language he had 
learned considerable from a neighbor's children while he 
was a boy. The minister, not understanding Hebrew and 
supposing that Cartwright had answered him in Hebrew, 
said that Cartwright was the first educated Methodist 
preacher he had seen. It was not so much worldly learn- 
ing as wisdom from above which enabled Cartwright to 
win so many souls for Christ. 

The grand old veteran, after enduring many hardships 
and winning multitudes to the Saviour, fell asleep in Christ 
at a good old age. 

Charles G. Pinnev 


The writer is inclined to r^^ard Giarles G. Finney as 
the greatest evangelist and theologian since the days of the 
apostles. It is estimated that during the year 1857-58 over 
a hundred thousand persons were led to Christ as the 
direct or indirect result of Finney's labours, while five 
hundred thousand persons professed conversion to Christ 
in the great revival which began in his meetings. Another 
remarkable fact is that it was found by actual research 
that over eighty-five in every hundred persons professing 
conversion to Christ in Finney's meetings remained true 
to God, whereas seventy per cent of those professing con- 
version in the meetings of even so great an evangelist as 
Moody afterwards became backsliders. Finney seems to 
have had the power of impressing the consciences of men 
with the necessity of holy living in such a manner as to 
procure the most lasting results. It is said that at Gov- 
emeur. New York, not a dance or theatrical play could be 
held in the place for six years after Finney held meet- 
ings there. 

The "Autobiography of Charles G. Finney" :s per- 
haps the most remarkable account of the manifestations of 
the Holy Spirit's power since apostolic days. It is crowded 
with accounts of spiritual outpourings which remind one 
of the day of Pentecost. Finney's " Systematic Theol- 
ogy" is probably the greatest work on theology outside 



the Scriptures. The wonderful anointing of God's Spirit, 
combined with Finney's remarkable reasoning powers and 
his legal training, enabled him to present clearer views of 
Christian doctrine than has any other theologian since the 
days of early Christianity. His views with regard to the 
difference between physical and moral law and physical and 
moral depravity, on the reasonableness of the moral law 
and the atonement, and on the nature of r^eneration and 
sanctification are the clearest of any the writer has had 
the privilege of reading or hearing. Finney's teachings 
probably did more than all other causes combined to bring 
the Old School Calvinists over to a belief in man's free 
agency and moral responsibility, or the views commonly 
known as New School Calvinism. 

Charles Grandison Finney was a descendant of the New 
England Puritans, and was bom in Connecticut in 1792. 
He removed with his parents to Western New York when 
two years of age. This part of New York was then a 
frontier wilderness, with few educational or religious priv- 
ileges. Finney had a good common school education, how- 
ever, and at twenty years of age he went to New England 
to attend high school, but ixx>n afterward went to New 
Jersey to teach school and to continue his studies. He be- 
came quite proficient in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, and in 
other college studies. In 1818 he commenced the study of 
law in the office of Squire Wright, of Adams, near his 
old home in Western New York. 

At Adams Finney had the first religious privileges 
worthy of the name. During the three years he taught 
school in New Jersey, about the only preaching in his 
neighborhood was in German, and the preaching he heard 
while at high school in New England was not of a kind 
calculated to arrest his attention. The aged preacher he 


heard there read old manuscript sermons in a monotonous, 
humdrum way that made no serious impression on the 
mind of Finney. Finney's parents were not professing 
Christians, and in his childhood days in Western New York 
the only preaching lie heard was during an occasional visit 
from some itinerant preacher. At Adams, while studying 
law, he attended the Presbyterian Church. The pastor^ 
George W. Gale, was an able and highly educated man. 
His preaching, though of the Old School Calvinistic type, 
arrested the attention of Finney, although to his keen and 
logical mind it seemed like a mass of absurdities and con- 

It was while studying law and attending church at 
Adams that Finney became interested in Bible study. He 
found so many references to the Scriptures in his law 
books, he decided to buy himself a Bible, and he soon be- 
came deeply absorbed in studying it. He had many con- 
versations with Mr. Gale, who frequently dropped into the 
office to talk with him, but they could scarcely agree on 
any point of doctrine. This fact probably led Finney to 
study the Scriptures much more diligently than though he 
had agreed with Mr. Gale in everything. The fact that 
the church members were constantly praying prayers which 
did not seem to be answered, and to which they hardly 
seemed to expect an answer, was a great drawback to 
Finney. But he became more and more concerned about 
his own soul. He felt that if there was a life beyond he 
was not prepared for it. Some of the church members 
wanted to pray for him, but he told them that he did riot 
see that it would do any good t>ecause they were continu- 
ally asking without receiving. 

Finney remained in a skeptical yet troubled frame of 
mind for two or three years. At last he came to a decision 


tiiat the Bible was the true Word of God, and that it was 
the fault of the people if their prayers were not answered 
He was then brought face to face with the question as to 
whether or not he would accept Christ. ''On a Sabbath 
evening, in the autumn of 1821/' says he, ** I made up my 
mind that I would settle the question of my soul's salva- 
tion at once, that if it were possible I would make my peace 
with God." He was obliged to be in the office, however, 
and could not devote the entire time to seeking his soul's 
salvation, although on the following Monday and Tuesday 
he spent most of his time in prayer and reading the Scrip- 
tures. Pride was the great obstacle which hindered him 
from accepting Christ as his Saviour. He found that he 
was unwilling that anyone should know that he was seek- 
ing salvation. Before praying he stopped the keyhole of 
the door, and then only prayed in a whisper for fear that 
someone should hear him. If he was reading the Bible 
when anyone came in, he would throw his law books oa 
top of it to create the impression that he had been reading 
them instead of the Bible. 

During Monday and Tuesday his conviction of sin in- 
creased, but his heart seemed to grow harder. Tuesday 
night he had become very nervous, and imagined that he 
was about to die, and sink into hell, but he quieted him- 
self as best he could until morning. Next morning, on 
the way to the office, he had as dear a view of the atone- 
ment of Christ as he ever had afterwards. The Holy Spirit 
seemed to present Christ hanging on the cross for him. 
The vision was so clear that almost unconciously he stopped 
in the middle of the street for several minutes when it 
came to him. North of the village and over a hill lay a 
piece of woods, or forest, and he decided to go there and 
pour out his heart in prayer. So great was his pride, he 


kept out of sight so far as possible for fear that some one 
should see him on the way to the woods and should think 
that he was going there to pray. He penetrated far into 
the woods where some large trees had fallen across each 
other leaving an open space between. Into this space he 
crept to pray. " But when I attempted to pray," says he, 
" I found that my heart would not pray." He was in great 
fear lest someone should come and find him praying. He 
was on the verge of despair, having promised God not to 
leave the spot until he settled the question of his soul's 
salvation, and yet it seemed impossible to him to settle the 
question. "Just at this moment," says he, " I again 
thought I heard some one approach me, and I opened my 
eyes to see whether it were so. But right there the revela- 
tion of my pride of heart, as the great difficulty that stood 
in the way, was distinctly shown me. An overwhelming 
sense of my wickedness in being ashamed to have a human 
being see me on my knees before God, took such power- 
ful possession of me, that I cried at the top of my voice, 
and exclaimed thatt I would not leave that place if all the 
men on earth and all the devils in hell surrounded me." 
He was completely humbled in soul by the thought of his 
pride. Then the most comforting verses of Scripture 
seemed to pour into his soul. He saw clearly that faith 
was not an intellectual state but a voluntary act, and he 
accepted the promise of God. 

Promises of salvation, from both Old and New Testa- 
ments, continued to pour into his soul, and he continued 
to pray. " I prayed," says he, " uiltil my mind became so 
full that, before I was aware of it, I was on my feet and 
tripping up the ascent toward the road." On reaching 
the village he found that it was noon, although he had gone 
into the woods immediately after an early breakfast. He 


had been so absorbed in prayer that he had no idea of the 
time. There was now a great cahn in his soul, and the 
burden of sin had completely rolled away, yet he was 
tempted /to believe that he was not yet born of God. He 
went to his dinner, but found that he had no appetite. He 
then went to the ofhce and took down his bass viol, and 
began to play some hymns, but his soul was so overflow- 
ing that he could not sing without weeping. 

On the evening of the same day in which Finney re- 
ceived the pardon of his sins, in the manner already de- 
scribed, he received a mighty overwhelming baptism of the 
Holy Spirit which started him immediately to preaching 
the gospel. We will allow him to describe this filling of 
the Spirit in his own words. Continuing the narrative of 
his conversion, he says: 

"After dinner we (Squire Wright and himself) were 
engaged in removing the books and furniture to another 
office. We were very busy in this, and had but little con- 
versation all {he afternoon. My mind, however, remained 
in that profoundly tranquil state. There was a great 
sweetness and tenderness in my thoughts and feelings. 
Everything appeared to be going right, and nothing seemed 
to disturb me or ruffle me in the least. 

"Just before evening the thought took possession of 
my mind, that as soon as I was left alone in the new office, 
I would try to pray again — that I was not going to aban- 
don the subject of religion and give it up, at any rate; and 
therefore, although I no longer had any concern about my 
soul, still, I would continue to pray. 

" By evening we got the books and furniture adjusted ; 
and I made up, in an open fire-place, a good fire, hoping to 
spend the evening alone. Just at dark Squire W , see- 
ing that everything was adjusted, bade me good-night and 


went to his home. I had accompanied him to the door; 
and as I closed the door and turned around, my heart 
seemed to be liquid within me. All my feelings seemed to 
rise and flow out ; and the utterance of my heart was, ' I 
want to pour my whole soul out to God.' The rising of my 
soul was so great that I rushed into the room back of the 
front ofEce, to pray. 

"There was no fire, and no light, in the room; never- 
theless it appeared to me as if it were perfectly light. As 
I went in and shut the door after me, it seemed as if I met 
the Lord Jesus Christ face to face. It did not occur to me 
then, nor did it for some time afterward, that it was wholly 
a mental state. On the contrary it seemed to me that I 
saw Him as I would see any other man. He said nothing, 
but looked at me in such a manner as to break me right 
down at His feet. I have always since regarded this as 
a most remarkable state of mind; for it seemed to me a 
reality, that He stood before me, and I fell down at His 
feet and poured out my soul to Him. I wept aloud like a 
child, and made such confession as I could with my choked 
utterance. It seemed to me that I bathed His feet with my 
tears; and yet I had no distinct impression that I touched 
Him, that I recollect. 

'* I must have continued in this state for a good while ; 
but my mind was too much absorbed with the interview 
to recollect anything that I said. But I know, as soon as 
my mind became calm enough to break off from the inter- 
view, I returned to the front office, and found that the 
fire that I had made of large wood was nearly burned out. 
But as I turned and was about to take a seat by the fire, 
I received a mighty baptism of the Holy Ghost. Without 
any expectation of it, without ever having the thought in 
my mind that there was any such thing for me, without 


any recollection that I had ever heard the thing mentioned 
by any person in the world, the Holy Ghost descended on 
me in a manner that seemed to go through me, body and 
soul. I could feel the impression, like a wave of electricity, 
going through and through me. Indeed it seemed to come 
in waves and waves of liquid love ; for I could not express 
it in any other way. It seemed like the very breath of 
God. I can recollect distinctly that it seemed to fan me, 
like immense wings. 

"No words can express the wonderful love that was 
shed abroad in my heart. I wept aloud with joy and love; 
and I do not know but I should say, I litersdly bellowed 
out the unutterable gushings of my heart. The waves came 
over me, and over me, one after the other, until I recol- 
lect I cried out, * I shall die if these waves continue to 
pass over me/ I said, ' Lord, I cannot bear any more ; ' 
yet I had no fear of death." 

Finney continued for some time under this remarkable 
manifestation of the Holy Spirit's power. Wave after 
wave of spiritual power rolled over him, and through him, 
thrilling every fibre of his being. Late in the evening a 
member of his choir — for he was the leader of the choir — 
came into the office. He was a member of the church, 
but was astonished to see Finney weeping under the power 
of the Spirit. After asking a few questions, he went after 
an elder of the church who was a very serious man, but 
who laughed with joy when he saw Finney weeping under 
the Spirit's power. A young man who had associated much 
with Finney came into the office while Finney was trying 
to relate his experience to the elder and the member of 
the choir. He listened with astonishment to what Finney 
was saying, and suddenly fell upon the floor, crying out 


in the greatest agony of mind and sa}ring, "Do pray for 

Although he had experienced so remarkable a baptism 
of the Holy Spirit, Finney was tempted the same night, 
when retiring to bed, to believe that he had been deluded 
in some way or other, and that he had not received the 
real baptism of the Spirit. " I soon fell asleep/' says he, 
''but almost as soon woke again on account of the great 
flow of the love of God that was in my heart. I was so 
filled with love that I could not sleep. Soon I fell asleep 
again and awoke in the same manner. When I awoke this 
temptation would return upon me, and the love that seemed 
to be in my heart would abate ; but as soon as I was asleep 
it was so warm within me that I would immediately awake. 
Thus I continued till, late at night, I obtained some sound 

" When I awoke in the morning the sun had risen, and 
was pouring a clear light into my room. Words cannot 
express the impression that the sunlight made upon me. 
Instantly the baptism that I had received the night before, 
returned upon me in the same manner. I arose upon my 
knees in the bed and wept aloud with joy, and remained 
for some time too much overwhelmed with the baptism of 
the Spirit to do anything but pour out my soul to God. It 
seemed as if this morning's baptism was accompanied with 
a gentle reproof, and the Spirit seemed to say to me, * Will 
you doubt ? ' * Will you doubt ? ' I cried, ' No ! I will not 
doubt; I cannot doubt.' He then cleared the subject up 
so much to my mind that it was in fact impossible for me 
to doubt that the Spirit of God had taken possession of 
my soul." 

On the morning just described Finney went to his of- 
fice, and the waves of power continued to flood his soul. 


When Squire Wright came into the office, Finney said a 
few words to him about the salvation of his soul. He made 
no reply, but dropped his head and went away. Finney 
says, " I thought no more of it then, but afterward found 
that the remark I made pierced him like a swc^d; and he 
did not recover from it till he was converted." 

Almost every person Finney spoke to during the day 
was stricken with conviction of sin and afterwards found 
peace with God. His words seemed to pierce their hearts 
like arrows. Although he had been fond of law, Finney 
now lost all taste for it and for every other secular business. 
His whole desire now was to preach the gospel and to win 
men to Christ. Nothing else seemed of any consequence. 
He left the office and went out to talk to individuals con- 
cerning the salvation of their souls. Among those brought 
to Christ through his efforts that day were a Universalist 
and a distiller. During the day there had been much con- 
versation and excitement concerning Finney's conversion, 
and in the evening most of the people in the village gathered 
at the church, although no meeting had been appointed so 
far as Finney could learn. All the people seemed to be 
waiting for him to speak, and he arose and related what 

the Lord had done for his soul. A certain Mr. C , who 

was present, was so convicted of sin that he arose and 
rushed out and went home without his hat. Many others 
were also deeply convicted of sin.. Finney spoke and 
prayed with liberty, although he had never prayed in public 
before. The meeting was a wonderful one, and from that 
day meetings were held every night for some time. The 
revival spread among all classes in the village and to many 
surrounding places. All of Finney's former companioosy 
with one exception, were brought to Christ. 


Finney soon visited his home at Henderson, New York, 
and his parents were brought to Christ. On his return 
to Adams, he continued his meetings, and spent much time 
in fasting and prayer. One time as he approached the meet- 
ing-house ''a light perfectly ineffable" shone in his soul, 
and almost prostrated him to the ground. It seemed 
greater than the light of the noon-day sun, as did the light 
which prostrated Saul on the way to Damascus. Many 
were brought to Christ, and some were healed in body, in 
answer to Finney's prayers. He now learned what it was 
to have real travail of soul for the unsaved. " When Zion 
travails she shall bring forth" became a precious promise 
to him. 

* Soon after receiving the anointing of the Holy Spirit, 
Finney had a lengthy conversation with his pastor, Mr. 
Gale, concerning the advisability of preparing for the min- 
istry. Mr. Gale was a graduate of Princeton University, 
but was a firm believer in the Old School Calvinistic doc- 
trines, which to Finney's mind seemed very absurd and 
contradictory. Mr. Gale and he could scarcely agree on 
any point of doctrine. Mr. Gale believed in the doctrine 
of a limited atonement, or that Christ died only for the 
elect, while Finney believed that He died for all. Mr. 
Gale held that men were so depraved by nature that they 
had no free agency, while Finney believed that all men 
had the power to accept or reject salvation. Mr. Gale be- 
lieved that Christ paid the exact penalty of the sinner, while 
Finney believed that He did not bear the exact penalty but 
that He bore sufficient penalty to enable God to forgive 
sin without mankind thinking that He was allowing sin to 
go unpunished. Notwithstanding their differences Finney, 
in 1822, placed himself under the care of the Presbytery 
as a candidate for the ministry. Some of the ministers 


urged him to go to Princeton, but he declined. They then 
appointed Mr. Gale to superintend his studies. His studies, 
so far as Mr. Gale was concerned, were only a series of 
controversies, but be made good use of Mr. Gale's library. 
He felt that he would rather not preach than teach the 
doctrines held by Mr. Gale, but a good elder in the church 
who held similar views to Finney gave him much encour- 
agement, and prayed with him frequently. During the few 
months that Finney studied under Mr. Gale a Universalist 
minister came to Adams and greatly disturbed the faith of 
many. Finney replied to his arguments and completely 
overthrew them. 

The Presbytery was finally called together at Adams, 
in 1824, and licensed Finney to preach. The two written 
sermons he prepared for them were, with two exceptions, 
the only written sermons he ever prepared. He tried one 
other time to preach from a written sermon, but believed 
that it hindered the Spirit of God from speaking through him. 

Finney's first regular meetings were held at Evans Mills, 
Oneida County, New York. The people praised his ser- 
mons, but for two or three weeks no one decided for Christ 
Then Finney urged all who were willing to accept Christ 
to rise to their feet and all who were willing to reject him 
to remain on their seats. This was very unusual in those 
days, and made the people so angry that they were almost 
ready to mob Finney. Next day he spent the day in fast- 
ing and prayer, and in the evening preached with such unc- 
tion and power that a great conviction of sin swept over 
the people. All night long they were sending for him to 
come and pray with them. Even hardened atheists were 
brought to Christ. 

He continued to preach the gospel, with increasing 
power and results, visiting many of the leading cities of 


and Great Britain. Sometimes the power of God 
was so manifest in his meetings that almost the entire au^ 
dience fell on their knees in prayer or were prostrated on 
the floor. When in the pulpit he sometimes felt almost 
lifted off his feet by the power of the Spirit of God. Some 
persons believe that the moral work of the Holy Spirit is 
not accompanied by any physical manifestations; but both 
in Bible times and in Finney's meetings remarkable phys- 
ical manifestations seemed to accompany the moral work 
of the Holy Spirit when the moral work was deep and pow- 
erful. At times, when Finney was speaking, the power 
of the Spirit seemed to descend like a cloud of glory upon 
him. Often a hallowed calm, noticeable even to the un- 
saved, seemed to settle down upon cities where he was hold- 
ing meetings. Sinners were often brought under convic** 
tion of sin almost as soon as they entered these cities. 

Finney seemed so anointed with the Holy Spirit that 
people were often brought under conviction of sin just by 
looking at him. When holding meetings at Utica, New 
York, he visited a large factory there and was looking at 
the machinery. At the sight of him one of the operatives, 
and then another, and then another broke down and wept 
under a sense of their sins, and finally so many were sob- 
bing and weeping that the machinery had to be stopped 
while Finney pointed them to Christ. 

At a country place named Sodom, in the state of New 
York, Finney gave one address in which he described the 
condition of Sodom before God destroyed it. '' I had not 
spoken in this strain more than a quarter of an hour/' says 
he^ " when an awful solemnity seemed to settle upon them ; 
the congregation began to fall from their seats in every 
direction, and cried for mercy. If I had had a sword in 
each hand, I could not have cut them down as fast as they 


fell. Nearly the whole congregation were either on Iheir 
knees or prostrate, I should think, in less than two minutes 
from the first shock that fell upon them. Every one prayed 
who was able to speak at all.*' Similar scenes were wit- 
nessed in many other places. 

In London, England, between 1,500 and 2,000 persons 
were seeking salvation in one day in Finney's meetings. 
Enormous numbers inquired the way of salvation in his 
meetings in New York, Boston, Rochester, and many other 
important cities of America. The great revival of 1858- 
1859, one of the greatest revivals in the world's history, 
was the direct result of his meetings. " That was the 
greatest work of God, and the greatest revival of religion 
the world has ever seen," says Dr. Lyman Beecher. It 
is estimated that six hundred thousand persons were 
brought to Christ in this revival. 

In 1833 Finney became a Congregationalist, and later 
a founder and first President of Oberlin College, Ohio. 
The great object in founding this college was to train stu- 
dents for the ministry. The remainder of Finney's time 
was divided between his work at Oberlin and holding meet- 
ings in different parts of the country. 

Finney's writings have had an enormous circulation and 
have greatly influenced the religious life of the world. This 
is especially true of his "Autobiography," his "Lectures on 
Revivals," " Lectures to Professing Christians," and his 
" Systematic Theology." These books have all had a world- 
wide circulation. 

Finney continued to preach and to lecture to the stu- 
dents at Oberlin until two weeks before he was eighty-three 
years of age, when he was called up higher to enjoy the 
reward of Uiose who have '^ turned many to righteousnessr** 



God sometimes uses weak vessels in a most marvel- 
lous way. " Billy " Bray, the famous Cornish miner, was 
perhaps one of the quaintest vessels ever used of God to 
accomplish a great work of any kind. Before his conver- 
sion to Christ he was a drunken profligate miner, but after 
the Spirit of the Lord took possession of him he became 
such a burning shining light for Christ that his name is now 
known all over the world. From one end of Cornwall, Eng- 
land, to the other scarcely any name is better known than 
that of Billy Bray. 

Billy Bray was bom in 1794, at Twelveheads, a village 
near Truro, in Cornwall, England. His grandfather had 
joined the Methodists under the preaching of John Wesley. 
Billy's father was also a Christian, but died when his chil- 
dren were all quite young. Billy lived with his grandfather 
until he was seventeen years of age, and then went to 
Devonshire, where he lived a very wicked and sinful life. 
He was both drunken and lascivious. One night he and 
a companion were going home drunk from Tavistock when 
they met a big horse and climbed on his back. He threw 
them and nearly killed them. He had many other narrow 
escapes from death. After his conversion to Christ he often 
said, " The Lord was good to me when I was the servant 
of the Devil or I should have been down in hell now." 
Once he was nearly killed in a mine. He ran out just aoout 



a minute before the mine caved in. He became so great 
a drunkard that his wife had to bring him away from the 
beer shop night after night. " I never got drunk without 
feeling condemned for it," he afterwards said. 

Billy was led<o Christ, or rather, was convicted of sin, 
through reading Bunyan's " Visions of Heaven and Hell." 
When he was seeking the Lord he went a mile one Sunday 
morning to attend a class-meeting of the Bible Christians. 
It was a wet day, and no one came. This had a discourag- 
ing effect on him. After he had been seeking salvation for 
a long time, the Devil strongly tempted him to believe that 
he never would find mercy. " But," says he, " I said to 
him ' Thou art a liar, Devil,' and as soon as I said so, I felt 
the weight gone from my mind, and I could praise the Lord, 
but not with that liberty that I could afterwards." The 
same day, in the evening after he had gone home from 
work, he went into his room alone and said, " Lord, Thou 
hast said, * They thai ask shall receive, and they that seek 
shall find^ and to them that knock the door shall be opened,' 
and I have faith enough to believe it." This brought joy to 
his soul. ** In an instant," says he, " the Lord made me 
so happy that I cannot express what I felt. I shouted for 
joy." This was in 1823. 

After his conversion Billy became a very happy Chris- 
tian, and also a very earnest worker for the salvation of 
others. This was especially true after he was led into a 
deeper richer, and fuller Christian experience than he had 
received when converted to Christ The following account 
of how he was led into this deeper experience is from 
" The King's Son, A Memoir of BiUy Bray," by F. W. 
Bourne: " It is more important to speak of his deep piety, 
his abiding sense of the Divine favour, the secret of bis 
great usefulness, the source of his constant and perpetual 


joy. The ' much fruit,' which is so pleasing to God, can- 
not come except the roots have struck deep into the soil. 
Religion is not shallow in its nature. * The water that I 
shall give you/ said the Saviour, ' shall be in you a well 
of water springing up into everlasting life.' To be sancti- 
fied wholly,' to use an apostolic phrase, Billy very early in 
his religious history felt to be both his duty and privilege. 
' I remember being,' he says, ' at Hick's Mill Chapel one 
Sunday morning at class-meeting when a stranger led the 
class. The leader asked one of our members whether he 
could say that the Lord had cleansed him from all sin, and 
he could not. " That/' I said in my mind, " is sanctifica- 
tion; I will have that blessing by the help of the Lord/' 
and I went on my knees at once, and cried to the Lord to 
sanctify me wholly, body, spirit, soul. And. the Lord said 
to me, ** Thou art clean through the word I have spoken 
unto thee." And I said, " Lord, I believe it/' When the 
leader came to me I told him, ''Four months ago I was 
a great sinner against God. Since that time I have been 
justified freely by His g^ace, and while I have been here 
this morning, the Lord has sanctified me wholly." When I 
had done telling what the Lord had done for me, the leader 
said, " If you can believe it, it is so." Then I said, " I can 
believe it." When I had told him so, what joy filled my 
heart I cannot find words to tell. After meeting was over, I 
had to go over a railroad, and all around me seemed so full 
of glory that it dazzled my sight. I had a "joy unspeak- 
aUe and full of glory." ' From one expression in this nar- 
rative some may dissent. It seems injudicious, to say the 
least, to tell a believer that he is sanctified if he believes 
he is. Of tell a penitent that he is saved if he only believes 
he is. There is a more excellent way. But henceforth Billy 
lived not to himself, but to Him who died for him and rose 


again. He set the Lord always before him. His path was 
like the shining light, his own favorite figure, that shineth 
more and more to the perfect day. Justified, sanctified, 
sealed, were successive steps in Christian experience; more 
clear to him perhaps than to others. His faith did not 
become feeble, but waxed stronger and stronger ; his love to 
the Saviour grew in intensity till it became the absorbing 
passion of his soul ; and his hope brightened into heavenly 
radiance and splendor. The freshness, the delicacy and 
fragrance of richest Christian experience seemed always to 
be his." 

After the experience related above Billy often felt the 
love of God overflowing his soul, so much so that he fre- 
quently shouted aloud or danced for very joy. His Chris- 
tian experience was so happy, so bright, so trustful, and so 
sunshiny that many of the great persons of the earth have 
been greatly interested in the story of his life. Among these 
were Queen Victoria, Spurgeon, and many leading min- 
isters of Britain and America. His name is a household 
word throughout Cornwall where he labored so earnestly 
for the salvation of others. 

Billy did not have the gloomy, dismal, sorrowful re- 
ligion which so many professing Christians seem to have. 
His was the joyous, victorious Christian experience which 
attracts sinners to Christ as honey attracts the bees. Sin- 
ners want a religion which will give them victory over sin, 
and wherever this kind of religion is preached souls arc 
won to Christ But the gloomy dismal testimony does not 
attract souls to Christ. In the Methodist Church at St 
Blazey Billy heard the people telling about their many trials 
and difficulties. He arose smiling, and clapping his hands 
said : " Well, friends I have been taking vinegar and honey, 
Wt, praise the Lord, I've had the vinegar with a spoon and 


ffie lioney with a ladle/' His testimony was always one of 
joy and victory. Speaking concerning the Lord, he says: 
" He has made me glad and no one can make me sckd; He 
makes me shout and no one can make me doubt; He it is 
that makes me dance and leap, and there is no one that can 
keep down my feet. I sometimes feel so much of the 
power of Gkxi that, I believe, if they were to cut off my 
feet I should heave up the stumps." 

Billy often literally danced for very joy. One time he 
got so happy on his way home from market that he danced 
a new frock for his little girl out of the basket in which 
he was carrying it. It was found later and was returned 
to him. Some objected to his dancing and shouting, but 
Billy justified himself by referring to how Miriam and 
David danced before the Lord, and to the example of the 
cripple at Lystra who, after he was healed, leaped and 
walked and praised God. Billy also said that it was proph- 
esied that ' the lame man shall leap as an hart' " I can't 
help praising God," he once said. " As I go along the street 
I lift up one foot, and it seems to say ' Glory ! ' and I lift 
up the other, and it seems to say, ' Amen ; ' and so they keep 
on like that all the time I am walking." Even when his 
wife died, Billy jumped about the room with joy, exclaim- 
ing: " Bless the Lord! My dear Joey is gone up with the 
bright ones! My dear Joey is gone up with the shining 
angels! Glory! Glory! Glory!" He believed that afflic- 
tions were a special mark of God's favor, and that Christians 
ought to rejoice in them. 

To those who objected to his shouting so much, Billy 
once said: "If they were to put me in a barrel, / would 
shout glory out through the bung-hole! Praise the Lord! " 
Some one asked him one time, when he was praising the 
Lordy if be did not think that people sometimes got in such 


a habit of praismg the Lord that they did not know \Aiai 
they were saying. He very coolly replied thai he did not 
think that the Lord was much troubled with that class of 
persons. At a meeting at Hick's Mill, in 1866, a Mr. Oliver 
told how triumphantly a dying woman expired shouting vic- 
tory. " Glory ! " shouted Billy. " If a dying woman praised 
the Lord, I should think a living man might." When Billy 
heard the news of a certain preacher's death, he said, " So 
he has done with the doubters and has got up with the 

" Some can only eat out of the sUent dish/' says Billy, 
** But I can not only eat out of that, but out of the shouting 
dish, and jumping dish and every other." He often spoke 
of his determination to enjoy the abundance of his Father's 
house. " My comrades used to tell me," said he, " that was 
no religion, dancing, shouting, and making so much 'to-do/ 
But T wan horn in thr fire n nd could not t ivD in thr Ttiifrfcf'* 

When Billy met people he often urged them to say 
** Amen," and if they did not do so he was not satisfied with 
their Christian experience. The first thing he inquired on 
meeting any one was about their soul, and if he got an as- 
suring answer he would shout for joy. He would shout 
for joy when he heard of souls being saved anywhere. He 
would sometimes pick people up and carry them around 
for very joy. He picked up several ministers and carried 
them about in this way, when he became very happy in the 
meetings. Such actions caused some people to criticise him. 
" They said I was a mad-mzn, but they meant I was a glad- 
man," says he. 

Like all great soul winners, Billy spent much time in 
prayer. Before going anywhere he would ask the Lord to 
keep the Devil from scratching him while away. He feared 


the DevU, and so " cut his ould daws '' in this way. The 
devil was very real to him. 

When tempted by Satan at one time, Billy said : " What 
an old fool thee art now; I have been battling with thee 
for twenty-eight years, and I have always beat thee, and 
I always shall." One time, when his potato crop was very 
poor, Satan tempted him to believe that God did not love 
him, or He would have given him a better potato crop. 
Billy recognized this as a temptation from the Devil, and 
he said: "Why, I've got your written character home to 
my house ; and it do say, sir, that you be ' a liar from the 
beginnin.' " He told the Devil that when he served him 
he "had only rags and no 'taturs.'" He then recounted 
God's blessings until the Devil " went off like as if he'd 
been shot." 

Some of the rowdies, knowing that Billy had a very 
strong belief in Satan, and a very wholesome fear of him, 
thought they would frighten him by hiding near the road 
at night, and making unearthly noises. Billy paid no at- 
tention to their noises but went on his way singing. At 
last one of them near the road said, " But I'm the Devil 
up here in the hedge, Billy Bray." " Bless the Lord ! bless 
the Lord!" exclaimed Billy, "/ did not know thee wast 
so far away as that.'* 

Not only did Billy pray much, but like all others who 
pray much he had great faith in the Lord, and his prayers 
were often answered in a most remarkable manner. One 
time his child was very sick, and his wife feared it would 
die and urged him to go for a doctor. Billy took all the 
money he had, which was eighteen pence (about 36 cents), 
and started after a doctor. On the way he met a poor man 
who had lost a cow, and who was trying to get enough 
money to purchase another. His story touched Billy's 


heart so much that he gave him the eighteen pence. Not 
having any money left he could not go for a doctor. He 
then went behind a hedge and told his heavenly Father 
all about it and asked for the child's healing. It soon got 

One day when Billy had no money, not having received 
his wages for sotpe time, he took the matter to the Lord 
in prayer. He had bacon and potatoes but no bread in 
the house. He went to the captain of the mine and bor- 
rowed ten shillings ($2.50). On the way home he found 
two families more destitute than himself. He gave them 
each five shillings and went home without any money. His 
wife felt blue, but Billy affirmed that the Lord would not 
remain in their debt very long. Soon a sovereign ($5) 
was given to them by a lady. 

Billy said that he was working for a big firm, — ^thc 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and he had great confidence 
in them. Once he said : " If Billy gets work, he praises 
the Lord ; when he gets none, he sings all the same. Do'e 
think that he'll starve Billy? No, no, ther's sure to be a 
bit of flour in the bottom of the barrel for Billy. I can 
trust in Jesus, and while I trust 'im, He'd as soon starve 
Michael the Archangel as He'd starve Billy."* 

Billy was a hard worker. He often worked twenty 
hours out of the twenty-four, building meeting houses with 
his own hands after working his regular shift in the mines. 
One time he went to the town of St. Ives to get mon^ 
for one of his chapels. But the run of fish had been so 
poor that the fishermen did not have any money to give 
him. Billy and others prayed earnestly for fish and the 
fishermen caught thousands upon thousands. 

Billy worked and prayed earnestly for the salvation 
of souls, and won many to Christ. About a year after 


his conversion his name was placed on the Local Preach- 
ers' roll of the Bible Christian Church, a branch of the 
Methodists. But he was more of an exhorter than a 
preacher, although he often conducted and spoke in meet- 
ings. His principal work in soul winning was probably 
done outside the pulpit, for he was always busy trying to 
win souls for Christ. He would pray for his fellow miners 
before they went to work in the mornings. " Lord," he 
would say, '' if any of us must be killed, or die to-day, let 
it be m^; let not one of these men die, for they are not 
happy and I am, and if I die to-day I shall go to heaven." 
He often visited the sick and dying. When ministering 
to the dying he often expressed a wish that he might 
" see them in heaven, dressed in robes of glorious bright- 
ness ; " for," he would add in his quietest vein of humor, 
" if I saw them there, / must be there myself too. They 
say that every man has got a little of self, and so have I 

One time when Billy was walking over a certain hill 
the Lord seemed to say to him : " I will give thee all that 
dwell on this mountain." He prayed for and visited the 
people in the three houses on the hill until they were all 
brought to the Lord. Then he complained to the Lord 
that there were only three houses on the hill, and the Lord 
showed him there would be more. Long after this an Epis- 
copal Church and parsonage were built on the hill. Billy 
heard of it and visited the church. He was disgusted to 
find the preacher a " Puseyite," or extreme High Church- 
man. This made him unhappy until he reflected that he 
had visited the place before the Lord told him to do so. 
After some time the clergyman's gardener, who was also 
a ritualist, was converted to Christ. His pastor was dis- 
pleased, but was afterwards deeply convicted of sin and 


was himself converted to Christ. One night, about 11:30 
o'clock, as Billy was going to bed, the Lord showed him 
that he could now visit the hilL He hitched up the 
donkey-cart and started, reaching the hill the next morn- 
ing. The pastor heard someone coming through the hall- 
way praising the Lord, and guessed that it was Billy Bray. 
He and his wife and servants and Billy Bray had a great 
time of rejoicing together. Billy Aen visited the other 
houses on the hill and found the people all converted, and 
he was almost beside himself with joy. 

Billy used some very original illustrations in his ser- 
mons. Before his conversion he was an inveterate smoker. 
He would sooner have gone into the mine without his 
dinner than without his pipe. But the Lord so thoroughly 
saved him from this filthy habit that he threw away his 
pipe and became an opponent of the use of tobacco in 
every form. He frequently said that if the Lord had in- 
tended people to snuff he would have turned their noses 
upside down, and that if he had intended them to smoke 
He would have put a chimney in the back of their heads. 
He said that an architect who would build a house so that 
all the smoke had to come out at the front door was in 
his opinion a very poor architect, and surely the Lord 
could not be a worse architect than man. There is much 
truth in this. If meat placed in a smoke-house will smoke 
to the bone in a very short time, it is little wonder if, as 
an able physician informed the writer, the inside of the 
skull of an inveterate smoker is c':en darkened by to- 
bacco smoke. Not only did Billy oppose the use of to- 
bacco, but he was also a strong advocate of temperance. 
** Men set lime-sticks to catch birds,'' says he, ** and Satan 
sets wine-bottles and ale-pots to catch fools." 


Worldly dress and extravagance were also things of 
which Billy did not approve. '' I would rather walk to 
heaven than ride to hell in a fine carriage/' says he. Some- 
times he would say to women, concerning the use of arti- 
ficial flowers : '' I wouldn't mind your having a waggon- 
load of them on your heads, if that would do you any 
good ; but you know it wouldn't, and all persons know that 
Aawers only grow in soft places." To men who wore 
long beards to be in fashion, and argued that it was nat- 
ural to do so, Billy pointed out the fact that it would be 
folly to let fruit trees grow in their natural state without 
pruning. Speaking concerning fasting, Billy says: ''If 
the members of the churches would mortify the flesh more, 
and not gratify it, they would be much happier than they 
are." When some one asked Billy how the world was get- 
ting on now, he said : " I don't know, for I haven't been 
there for twelve years." 

Billy was a poor singer, but was often singing. He 
affirmed that the Lord liked to hear him sing. " Oh, yes, 
bless the Lord ! I can sing," he would say. '' My heavenly 
'Father likes to hear me sing as well as those who can 
sing better than I can. My Father likes to hear the crow 
as well as the nightingale." 

After a nice meeting-house was built in one place, Bilty 
was called on with others to speak at the dedication. '* I 
told the people," says he, ''that the dear Lord had given 
them a pretty chapel to worship in; and now he wanted 
good furniture, for bad furniture looks disgraceful in a 
good house. I told them that the good furniture for the 
house of the Lord was sanctified souls. We must be par- 
doned, sanctified, and sealed, and then we shall not only 
be fit for the Lord's house on earth, but we shall be good 
furniture in heaven." 


Billy had one Qlustration which always appealed very 
forcibly to the miners. He represented himself as work- 
ing all week at a poor mine, where the pay was very poor, 
and then on pay-day going to a good mine, where the 
wages were good, to get his pay. He asked if that would 
not be a very foolish thing to do, and then pointed out 
how that many people are working for Satan and expect- 
ing God to save them at last. 

When Billy lay dying, and the doctor told him that 
he was going to die, he said: "Glory! glory be to God I 
I shall soon be in heaven.'' He then added, in his own 
peculiar way, "When I get up there, shall I give them your 
compliments, doctor, and tell them you will be coming toof 
This made a deep impression on the doctor. Billy's dying 
word was " Glory !" Some little time before dying, he 
said: "What! me fear death! me lost! Why, my Sav- 
iour conquered death. If I was to go down to hell I 
would shout glory ! glory ! to my blessed Jesus until I made 
the bottomless pit ring again, and the miserable old Satan 
would say, * Billy, Billy, this is no place for thee : get thee 
back!' Then up to heaven I should go, shouting glory! 
glory! praise the Lord!" Billy fell asleep in Christ in 
1868. The following verse is from Mr. John's poetical 
tribute to Billy: 

** His fare was sometimes scanty, 

And earnest was the fight; 
But his dear Lord provided, 

And with him all was right. 
His dress was always homely — 

His dwelling somewhat poor. 
But the presence of his Saviour 

Made up for that and more. 


Elder Jacob Knapp 


Elder Jacob Knapp, the famous evangelist, was so en- 
dued with power from on high that his name at one time 
was almost a synonym for spiritual power. So many peo- 
ple professed conversion in his meetings that he finally 
lost count of them, and he gave up the effort after he 
passed the hundred thousand mark. 

Elder Knapp was a pioneer in evangelistic work. He 
was probably the first man, at least in the Northern part 
of the United States, to devote his entire time to evange- 
listic woiic. There were few evangelists in those days. 
This important New Testament office was well nigh neg- 
lected. This was no doubt partly owing to the prevalence 
of Old School Calvinism. Calvinists of the Old School 
believed that God would save His own elect in His own 
way and in His own time, without the urgent appeals of 
evangelists. They were afraid that evangelists would per- 
suade those who were not God's elect to make a profes- 
sion of religion. Many would not even pray for tfie sal- 
vation of their own children for fear that they might not 
be among God's elect. This belief has been one of the 
greatest, if not the greatest, of all hindrances to evange- 
listic work. The labors of Wesley, and of the great evan- 
gelists, Finney and Moody, did much to overthrow this 
fatalistic belief. But Elder Knapp met with much oppo- 
sition from his well-meaning but deluded hyper-Calvan- 
istic brethreii« and yet his labors were so richly blessed ol 



God that great multitudes were omverted to Christ tmder 
his ministry. 

Jacob Knapp was bom in the State of New York, Dec. 
7f ^779' His parents were in moderate circumstances. 
They were Episcopalians, and Knapp was brought up to 
attend church and was taught the Creed and Catechism 
from his infancy. " My mind/' says he, " was early, and 
at times, deeply impressed with divine truth. From the 
first of my remembrance I had seasons of secret prayer, 
and of deep anxiety about the future welfare of my soul; 
but I was not led to hope in Christ until the stunmer of 
my seventeenth year, when it pleased God to take from 
me my dear mother." 

The death of his mother made a deep impression upon 
him and drove him to prayer, studying his Bible, and to 
the house of God, with more earnestness than he had ever 
felt before. He was under so deep conviction of sin that 
he could find no rest of soul. " I often repaired to the 
bam or grove in the silent hours of the night, and poured 
out my soul in prayer to God," says he. He was so dis- 
tressed about his soul that his health b^fan to decline. 
"At length," says he, "one Lord's day moming, I took 
my Bible and hymn-book, and repaired to the woods, with 
a determination never to return without relief to my soul. 
I went some distance from human sight or hearing, laid 
myself down on a grassy knoll, and prayed and read, and 
read and prayed." He prayed earnestly and suffered much 
agony of soul. " But," says he, " to the joy and rapture 
of my soul, after a short space of time passed in this con- 
dition, my load of guilt was gone. I rose up quickly, 
turned my eyes toward heaven, and thought I saw Jesus 
descending with His arms extended for my reception. My 
soul leaped within me, and I broke forth into singing 
praises to the blessed Saviour. The sweet melodies of tfie 


s seemed to make harmony wiA the songs, and» as I 
ed around, the sun shone with a lustre not its own, 
majestic trees, swaying to the gentle breeze, appeared 
ow in sweet submission to the will of heaven. All 
re smiled, and everything, animate and inanimate, 
;ed God with a voice (though unheard before) too loud 
too plain to be misunderstood/' ^ 

^ven after so bright a conversion, Knapp relapsed into 
ck-slidden state, after ten months or a year, and be- 
t so wicked as to make sport of religion. But con- 
^n of sin often pierced his heart like a dagger and 
»ften had great compunctions of conscience. Finally 
romised to attend a dance. There was a prayer-meet- 
in the Baptist Church on the same night. He became 
verwhelmed with the thought of his sinfulness that 
vent to the prayer-meeting instead of to the dance, 
there, within hearing of the dancing music, he and 
ral companions wept and prayed their way back to 

This was the means of bringing about a revival in 
place, and sixty of the young people were led to 
St. Knapp was then baptized and united with the 
:ist Church, and soon became an earnest worker for 
salvation of souls. He organized prayer-meetings in 
leighborhood of his home, and a number of souls were 
to Christ. 

Vlien he was about twenty years of age, his father 
ted to give him a farm and means to start life for 
elf, but Jacob had great desires and ambitions for an 
ation. He felt that God was calling him to the work 
le ministry. By doing chores and working hard dur- 
vacation, and after many severe trials from poverty 
Ignorance he at last managed to obtain a fair educa- 

He had prayed much in secret that God would dis- 
le his mind and provide for his daily needs. During 


this time he had led the meetings in a Baptist Churdi 
which had no pastor. In about two months nearly all tHe 
young people were led to God. 

For some time Knapp taught school, and held many 
meetings in school-houses and other places. Although ht 
did not pretend to preach regular sermons, many souls 
were won to Christ through his labors. Yet he felt so 
keenly his inability to preach that he decided to abandon 
the idea. But ''trouble rolled in like a flood" until he 
felt driven to request his church to give him a license to 
preach. He preached his trial sermon and was licensed to 
preach in 1822, when twenty-three years of age. He then 
spent some time in theological training at Hamilton Uni- 
versity, which had just been tounded. While there he 
preached in a number of places, but through trying to 
preach in a manner to please men and not to give offence, 
he lost much of his joy and power. 

In 1825 he received his diploma and became pastor of 
a church at Springfield, New York^ where he remained as 
pastor for five years. About sixty persons professed con- 
version to Christ in his church during this time. He then 
became pastor of a church at Watertown, New York. 
Here he remained for about three years, and although the 
church was small and poor, he baptized about two hun* 
dred converts during that time. 

In 1833 Knapp felt a definite call to ^e evangelistic 
work. Many of his Calvinistic brethren were bitterly op- 
posed to his engaging in work of this kind, as they did 
not believe in revival meetings. He hega^ to hold pro- 
tracted meetings, however, and many souls were brot^ffat 
to a decision for Christ in these meetings. 

"\t length I was advised by Dr. Nathaniel Kendridc," 
says he, '* to take an appointment from the Board of the 
Baptist Convention of the State of New York, as an evan- 


gdist in Jefferson and Osw^o Counties. I thought favor- 
ably of this suggestion, imagining that such an appoint- 
ment would increase my influence and tend to silence my 
opposers. I therefore went to the meeting of the Conven- 
tion, about a hundred and forty miles distant. I had not 
mingled with the brethren long before I found that some, 
wh(»n I had counted as friends, were disposed to treat 
me with coolness. Though endorsed by such a man as 
Dr. Kendricky whose weight of personal influence was 
everywhere reo^^nized, yet my application was instantly 
met by a decided opposition. One must tell what he had 
heard, another explain his views of the gospel method, 
until, after a lengthy debate, in which some cried one 
thing and some another, it was resolved to refer the ques- 
tion of my appointment to a committee. This committee 
made an adverse report, and my application was rejected. 
Overwhelmed with grief and mortification, I started to fill 
an engagement to preach in Loraine, a distance of about 
one hundred and fifty miles. The Lord brought me safe- 
ly on my way some fifty miles, when my horse sickened 
and died. I got a brother to take me to Oswego, and then 
I went on board a boat for Sackett's Harbor. Shortly 
after we had started, 'there arose a mighty tempest, and, 
for a while there appeared but little chance for any of 
our lives. But my own spirits were so depressed that I 
seemed to have but little choice between life and death. 
I thought myself in perils by sea, in perils by land, and 
in perils by false brethren.' But God preserved me for 
greater joys and greater sorrows than any I had hitherto 

"For a short time the effect of my rejection by the 
Board of the Convention was very disheartening. I had 
hoped to secure, by an appointment, a greater influence 
among the churches, the more positive countenance of 


some of the ministers who had hitherto been sitting on 
the fence, hesitating as to which side to get down on, and 
also to silence the active opposition of those who had 
avowed their hostility to my course; but it was not long 
before I found that my difficulties in these directions were 
on the increase. The non-commital became outspoken 
against me, and those heretofore opposed became violent 
and abusive. My soul was in deep trouble and I knew 
not which way to turn. 

' " But in my distress I cast my burdens on the Lord. 
I sought to know the will of God. I cried unto the Lord; 
and, blessed he His name, very soon He made known His 
ways, and lifted upon me the light of His countenance. 
After spending one whole day in fasting and prayer, and 
continuing my fast until midnight, the place where I was 
staying was filled with the manifested glory of God. His 
presence appeared to me, not exactly in visible form, but 
as really to my recognition as though He had come in per- 
son, and a voice seemed to say to me, 'Hast thou ever 
lacked a field in which to labor?* I answered, 'Not a 
day.' 'Have I not sustained thee, and blessed thy labors?' 
I answered, *Yea, Lord.' 'Then learn that henceforth 
thou art not dependent on thy brethren, but on me. Have 
no concern but to go on in thy work. My grace shall be 
sufficient for thee.' 

" From that night I felt willing to sacrifice the good 
opinion of my brethren, as I had previously sacrificed the 
favor of the world, and swing off from all dependencies 
but God. Up to this time I had concerned myself too 
much about the opinions of other and older brethren, dis- 
trusting my youth and inexperience. But the Lord taught 
me that He was my only and infallible guide. I joyously 
acquiesced in His will, and from that day to this have 
rested in His divine manifestation. Ahl how reluctant 


we are to deave to the Lord! How prone to ding to 
creature dependendes. Since I have endeavored to seek 
divine direction as to all my fields of labor, I have learned 
that it is possible for me, generally, to gain as dear im- 
pressions of the will of God concerning my duty as though 
it was announced in audible tones. 

" In the manifestation of God's presence to me, He 
cast no reflections on those of my ministerial brethren 
who differed from me, but, in the most tender manner, 
bade me to leave them to pursue their own way, and cleave 
only to Him. Thus was I cured of all yearning for de- 
nominational promotion, led to make an unreserved con- 
secration of all my powers to one end, — ^the conversion 
of men to Christ; and made willing to labor on, through 
evil and good report, leaving my vindication until the day 
of judgment. 

"A year did not elapse before I saw plainly that God's 
plan was much better than mine. I found it far more de- 
lightful and profitable to my soul to be directed by God's 
providence, where, and by His Spirit, how to labor, than 
to be prescribed in my fidd, and dictated to as to how to 
conduct my ministry, by others. The Lord carried me 
from place to place, even where I had the least expecta- 
tion of going. In my perplexities, I was driven to God 
in prayer for Him to direct my steps, and mark out every 
inch of my path. And I have been led to understand 
since, that had not the furnace been heated seven times 
hotter than it was wont to be, the dross would never have 
been separated from the gold. My kind and heavenly 
Father did not give me one blow that was not needful, 
nor one thorn that was not required to keep me from 
being exalted above measure, through the abundance of 
my success in winning souls, and the many flattering ex- 
pressions of those who sympathized with my work." 


After makiiig the full consecration and obtaining the 
deeper experience described above, Knapp hegaia to win 
multitudes to Christ Thousands upon thousands pro- 
fessed conversion in his meetings, and many sought and 
obtained the filling of the Holy Spirit So great was his 
power in preaching the gospel, it has been said that where- 
ever he went ''infidelity turned pale, and Universalism 
gave up the ghost." " These were golden days, sunny 
spots, heavenly seasons. The memory of them is pre- 
cious," says Knapp. 

So exhaustive were his labors, many wondered how he 
could perform them. But after his hard day's labor in 
meetings he often felt as nimble as a deer. " It is really 
surprising," says he, " what a small amount of sleep and 
food we can get along with, and how much we caii en- 
dure, when we are filled with the Spirit. Machinery wdl 
oiled can be run day and night for years together with 
but little friction." 

In many places where Knapp labored, business was 
suspended and meetings were held three times a day and 
frequently all night. Farmers took their wagons through 
their neighborhoods and brought the people to the meet- 
ings. The crowds were often so great that Christians 
stayed away from the meetings to make room for the un- 
saved, and spent the time of service in prayer at their 

At one place where Knapp held meetings, there was 
so much praying that a skeptical physician in the place 
became so uneasy that he sold his property at a great sac- 
rifice and went to Canada. He said that "he could not 
go to his bam, but some one was praying in the hay-mow ; 
he could not go to the woods, but some one was praying 
behind every bush-heap; that the women pestered the life 


out of him, tormenting him with their religion, so that he 
wottld rather live in purgatory." 

At Hannibal Center, New York, the church where 
Knapp held meetings was very dead, the weather dismal, 
and everything seemed unfavorable. But the power of 
God finally fell and socres were converted. At Auburn, 
New York, when Knapp was holding meetings there, some 
of the rowdies tried to create a disturbance one day. ** On 
the same night some of them came into the meeting, were 
smitten down by the power of God's truth, and had to be 
carried to their homes." At Utica, New York, more than 
eight hundred persons professed conversion during the re- 
vival. About ten thousand professed conversion to Christ 
as a result of Knapp's first series of meetings in Balti- 
more, Maryland. 

In 1841, when Knapp held revival services in Boston, 
"the Spirit of God," says he, "was poured out on the 
whole dty, and all the people seemed to be affected by 
His presence." Rev. J. D. Fulton says : " The attendance 
upon theatres waned, that upon churches increased." At 
Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1841, " The Lord came down in 
power, and the work rolled on mightily." One of the large 
cotton mills had to be stopped on account of the operatives 
being under too great conviction of sin to continue their 
work. About fifteen hundred persons professed conver- 
sion to Christ as a result of Knapp's Iatx>rs in that place. 
When he left, "the air resounded with the songs of the 
rejoicing and weeping multitudes." 

The whole city of Salem, Massachusetts, was shaken by 
the power of God in 1843, when Knapp held revival serv- 
ices there. His friends chartered a train of cars and ac- 
companied him to Boston. 

In i860, Knapp again held meetings in Boston, and 
much prayer was n^ide for an outpouring of the Spirit, 


and ''the very atmosphere seemed impreg;nated with tiie 
divine influence. No one could come into the room where 
we were without recognizing the presence of God/' says 
Knapp. ''At times it seemed as if I was overwhekned 
with the gracious fulness of God, and that my poor and 
limited faculties could bear no more." 

We have given only a few of the most striking inci- 
dents connected with the meetings of Elder Knapp. Al- 
most everywhere he went the people were so aroused and 
concerned about the salvation of their souls that some com- 
plained of the excitement in the meetings. But Knapp did 
not see why they should not become excited about reli- 
gious matters as about matters of far less importance, 
such as business, games, politics, and so on. " For my 
own part," says he, "I never could see why men might 
properly become excited on other subjects, but must in- 
variably approach the momentous subject of salvation with 
al) the proprieties of an imperturbable deliberation. It seemed 
to me that the record of the Acts of the Apostles was a 
history of excitements, under which the world was verily 
turned upside down." 

George Muller 


Amongf the gfreatest monuments of what can be accom- 
plished through simple faith in God are the great orphan-^* 
ages covering thirteen acres of ground on Ashley Downs, 
Bristol, England. When God put it into the heart of 
George MuUer to build these orphanages, he had only two 
shillings (50 cents) in his pocket. Without making his 
wants known to any man, but to God alone, over a million, 
four hundred thousand pounds ($7,000,000) were sent to 
him for the building and maintaining of these orphan 
homes. When the writer first visited them, near the time 
of Mr. Muller's death, there were five immense buildings 
of solid granite, capable of accommodating two thousand 
orphans. In all the years since the first orphans arrived 
the Lord had sent food in due time, so that they had never 
missed a meal for want of food. 

Although George Muller became famous as one of the 
greatest men of prayer known to history, he was not al- 
ways a saint. He wandered very deep into sin before he 
was brought to Christ. He was bom in the kingdom of 
Prussia, in 1805. His father was a revenue collector for 
the government, and was a worldlynninded man. He sup- 
plied George and his brother with plenty of money when 
they were boys, and they spent it very foolishly. George 
deceived his father about how much money he spent, and 
also as to how he spent it. He also stole the government 
money during his father's absence. 



AlE ten years of age, George was sent to the cathedra] 
classical school at Halberstadt His father wanted to 
make a Lutheran clergyman of him, not that he might 
serve God, but that he might have an easy and comfort- 
able living from the State Church. " My time," says he, 
" was now spent in studying, reading novels, and indulg- 
ing, though so young, in sinful practises. Thus it con- 
tinued imtil I was fourteen years old, when my mother 
was suddenly removed. The night she was dying, I, not 
knowing of her illness, was playing cards until two in 
the morning, and on the next day, being the Lord's day, 
I went with some of my ocmpanions in sin to a tavern, 
and then, being filled with strong beer, we went about 
the streets half intoxicated. 

" I grew worse and worse," says he. " Three or four 
days before I was confirmed (and thus admitted to par- 
take of the Lord's supper), I was guilty of gross immor- 
ality; and the very day before my confirmation, when I 
was in the vestry with the clergyman to confess my sins 
(according to the usual practice), after a formal manner, 
I defrauded him ; for I handed over to him only a twelfdi 
part of the fee which my father had given me for him." 

A few solemn thoughts and desires to lead a better life 
came to him, but he continued to plunge deeper and deq)er 
into sin. Lying, stealing, gambling, novel-reading, licen- 
tiousness, extravagance, and almost every form of sin was 
indulged in by him. No one would have imagined that 
the sinful youth would ever beccxne eminent for his faith 
in God and for his power in prayer. He robbed his father 
of certain rents which his father had entrusted him to col- 
lect, falsifying the accounts of what he had received and 
pocketing the balance. His money was spent on sinful 
pleasures,^ and once he was reduced to such poverty that^ 
in order to satisfy his hunger, he stole a piece of coant 


bread, the allowance of a soldier who was quartered in 
the house where he was. In 1821 he set off on an excur- 
sion to Magdeburg, where he spent six days in ''much 
sin." He then went to Brunswick, and put up at an ex- 
pensive hotel until his money was exhausted. He then 
put up at a fine hotel in a neighboring village, intending 
to defraud the hotel-keeper. But his best clothes were 
taken in lieu of what he owed. He then walked six miles 
to another inn, where he was arrested for trying to de- 
fraud the landlord. He was imprisoned for this crime 
when sixteen years of age. 

After his imprisonment young MuUer returned to his 
home and received a severe thrashing from his angry fa- 
ther. He remained as sinful in heart as ever, but in order 
to regain his father's confidence he began to lead a very 
exemplary life outwardly, until he had the confidence of 
all around him. His father decided to send him to the 
classical school at Halle, where the discipline was very 
strict, but George had no intention of going there. He 
went to Nordhausen instead, and by using many lies and 
entreaties persuaded his father to allow him to remain 
there for two years and six months, till Easter, 1825. Here 
he studied diligently, was held up as an example to the 
other students, and became proficient in Latin, French, 
History, and his own language (German). "But whilst 
I was outwardly gaining the esteem of my fellow-crea- 
tures," says he, " I did not care in the least about God, 
but lived secretly in much sin, in consequence of which I 
was taken ill, and for thirteen weeks confined to my room. 
All this time I had no real sorrow of heart, yet being un- 
der certain natural impressions of religion, I read through 
Klopstock's works, without weariness. I cared nothing 
about the Word of God." 


*' Now and then I felt I ought to become a different 
person/' says he, " and I tried to amend my conduct, par- 
ticularly when I went to the Lord's supper, as I used to 
do twice every year, with the other young men. The day 
previous to attending that ordinance I used to refrain from 
certain things, and on the day itself I was serious, and 
also swore once or twice to God with the emblem of the 
broken body in my moudi, to become better, thinking that 
for die oatfi's sake I should be induced to reform. But 
after one or two days were over, all was forgotten, and I 
was as bad as before. 

He entered the University of Halle as a divinity student, 
with good testimonials. This qualified him to preach in the 
Lutheran state church. While at the university he spent 
all his money in profligate living. " When my money was 
spent," says he, " I pawned my watch and part of my 
linen and clothes, or borrowed in other ways. Yet in the 
midst of all this I had a desire to renounce this wretched 
life, for I had no enjoyment in it, and had sense enough 
left to see, that the end one day or other would be mis- 
erable ; for I should never get a living. But I had no sor- 
row of heart on account of offending God." 

At the university he formed the acquaintance of a mis- 
erable backslider, named Beta, who was trying by means 
of worldly pleasures to drown out his conviction of sin. 
They plunged into sin together, and in June, 1825, George 
was again taken sick. After his- recovery they forged let- 
ters purporting to be from his parents. With these they 
obtained passports and set out to see Switzefland. Muller 
stole from the friends who accompanied him and the jour- 
ney did not cost him so much as it did them. Tliey re- 
turned home to finish up the vacation and then went back 
to the University, Muller having lied to his father about 
the trip to Switzerland. 


At the University of Halle there were about nine hun- 
dred divinity students. All of these were allowed to preach, 
but Mtdler estimates that not nine of them feared the 
Lord. "One Saturday afternoon, about the middle of 
November, 1825," says he, " I had taken a walk with my 
friend Beta. On our return he said to me, that he was 
in the habit of going on Saturday evenings to the house 
of a Christian, where there was a meeting. On further 
inquiry he told me that they read the Bible, sang, prayed, 
and read a printed sermon. No sooner had I heard this, 
but it was to me as if I had found something after which 
I had been seeking all my life long. I immediately wished 
to go with my friend, who was not at once willing to take 
me; for knowing me as a gay young man, he thought I 
should not like this meeting. At last, however, he said he 
would call for me." 

Describing the meeting, MuUer said: "We went to- 
gether in the evening. As I did not know the manners 
of the brethren, and the joy they have in seeing poor sin- 
ners, even in any measure caring about the things of God, 
I made an apology for coming. The kind answer of this 
dear brother I shall never forget. He said: * Come as 
often as you please; house and heart are open to you.'" 
After a hymn was sung they fell upon their knees, and a 
brother, named Kayser, who afterwards became a mission- 
ary to Africa, asked God's blessing on the meeting. " This 
kneeling down made a deep impression upon me," says 
Muller, " for I had never either seen any one on his knees, 
nor had I ever myself prayed on my knees. He then read 
a chapter and a printed sermon; for no regular meetings 
for expounding the Scriptures were allowed in Prussia, 
except an ordained clergyman was present. At the close 
we sang another hymn, and then the master of the house 
prayed." The meeting made a deep impression upon Mul- 



ler. ** I was happy," says he, " though if I had been asked 
why I was happy, I cotild not clearly have explained it. 

''When we walked home, I said to Beta, all we have 
seen on our journey to Switzerland, and all our former 
pleasures, are as nothing in comparison with this evening. 
Whether I fell on my knees when I returned home I do 
not remember; but this I know, that I lay peaceful and 
happy in my bed. This shows that the Lord may htpn 
his work in different ways. For I have not the least doubt 
that on that evening He began a work of grace in me, 
though I obtained joy without any deep sorrow of heart, 
and with scarcely any knowledge. But that evening was 
the turning point in my life. The next dap^ and Monday, 
and once or twice besides, I went again to the house of 
this brother, where I read the Scriptures with him and 
another brother; for it was too long for me to wait until 
Saturday came again. 

"Now my life became very different, though not so, 
that my sins were all given up at once. My wicked com- 
panions were given up; the going to taverns was discon- 
tinued; the habitual practice of telling falsehoods was no 
longer indulged in, but still a few times more I spoke an 
untruth. ... I now no longer lived habitually in sin, 
though I was still often overcome and sometimes even by 
open sins, though far less frequently than before, and not 
without sorrow of heart. I read the Scriptures, prayed 
often, loved the brethren, went to church from right mo- 
tives, and stood on the side of Christ, though laughed at 
by my fellow students." 

For a few weeks after his conversion Muller made 
rapid advancement in the Christian life, and he was greatly 
desirous of becoming a missionary. But he fell in love 
with a Roman Catholic girl, and for some time the Lord 
was well nigh forgotten. Then Muller saw a young mis- 


sionafy givii^ up all the luxuries of a beautiful home for 
Christ This opened his eyes to his own selfishness and 
enabled him to give up the giri who had taken the place 
of Christ in his heart ''It was at this time/' says he, 
''that I htgaxi to enjoy the peace of God, which passeth 
all understanding. In this my joy I wrote to my father 
and brother, entreating them to seek the Lord, and tell- 
ing them how happy I was; thinking, that if the way to 
happiness were set before them, they would gladly em- 
brace it To my great surprise an angry answer was re- 

George could not enter any German missionary train- 
ing institution without the consent of his father, and this 
he could not obtain. His father was deeply grieved that 
after educating him so that he could obtain a comfortable 
living as a clergyman he should turn missionary. George 
felt that he could no longer accept any money from him. 
The Lord graciously sent him means with which to com- 
plete his education. He taught German to some Ameri- 
can college professors at the University, and they hand- 
somely remunerated him for his services. He was now 
the means of winning a number of souls to Christ He 
gave away thousands of religious tracts and papers, and 
spoke to many persons concerning the salvation of thdr 

Although, before his conversion, Muller had written to 
his father and told him about sermons he had preached, 
he never really preached a sermon until some time after 
his conversion. He thought to please his father by mak- 
ing him believe that he was preaching. His first sermon 
was a printed one which he had memorized for the occa- 
sion* He had but little liberty in preaching it The sec- 
ond time he preached extemporaneously and had scnne de- 
gree of liberty. "I now preached frequently/' says Iie» 


'* both in the churches of the villages and towns, but never 
had any enjoyment in doing so, except when speaking in a 
simple way; though the repetition of sermons which had 
been committed to memory brought more praise from my 
fellow creatures. But from neither way of preaching did 
I see any fruit. It may be that the last day will show the 
benefit even of those feeble endeavors. One reason why 
the Lord did not permit me to see fruit, seems to me, that 
I should have been most probably lifted up by success. 
It may be also because I prayed exceedingly little respect- 
ing the ministry of the Word, and because I walked so 
little with God, and was so rarely a vessel unto honor, 
sanctified and meet for the Master's use." 

The true believers at the University increased from 
six to about twenty in number before MuUer left. They 
often met in Muller's room to pray, sing and read the 
Bible. He sometimes walked ten or fifteen miles to hear 
a really pious minister preach. 

In 1827 Muller volunteered to go as a missionary pas- 
tor to the Germans at Bucharest, but the war between the 
Turks and Russians prevented this. In 1828, at the Sug- 
gestion of their agent, he offered himself to the Lond(Ml 
Missionary Society as a missionary to the Jews. He was 
well versed in the Hebrew language and had a great love 
for it. The Society desired him to come to London that 
they might see him personally. Through the providence 
of God he finally secured exemption for life from serving 
in the Prussian army, and he went to England in 1829, at 
twenty-four years of age. He was not able to speak the 
English language for some time after he landed in Eng- 
land and then only in a very broken maimer at first 

Soon after coming to England Muller received a deeper 
Christian experience which entirely revolutionized his life. 
" I came weak in body to England." says he, " and in con* 


sequence of much study, as I suppose, I was taken ill on 
May 15, and was soon, at least in my own estimation, ap- 
parently beyond recovery. The weaker I got in body, the 
happier I was in spirit. Never in my whole life had I 
seen myself so vile, so guilty, so altogether what I ought 
not to have been, as at that time. It was as if every sin 
of which I had been guilty was brought to my remem- 
brance; but at the same time I could realize that all my 
sins were completely forgiven — that I was washed and 
made clean, completely clean, in the blood of Jesus. The 
result of this was great peace. I longed exceedingly to 
depart and to be with Christ . . . 

''After I had been ill about a fortnight my medical at- 
tendant unexpectedly pronounced me better. This, instead 
of giving me joy, bowed me down, so great was my de- 
sire to be with the Lord ; though almost immediately after- 
wards grace was given me to submit myself to the will 
of God." 

That MuUer always regarded the above experience as 
one which deepened his whole spiritual life is clearly 
shown by a letter of his which appeared in the British 
Christian, of August 14, 1902. In this letter Muller says : 
'* I became a believer in the Lord Jesus in the bi^nning 
of November, 1825, now sixty-nine years and eight months. 
For the first four years afterwards, it was for a good part 
in great weakness; but in July, 1829, now sixty-six years 
since, it came with me to an entire and full surrender of 
heart. I gave myself fully to the Lord. Honors, pleas- 
ures, money, my physical powers, my mental powers, all 
were laid down at the feet of Jesus, and I became a great 
lover of the Word of God. I found my all in God, and 
thus in all my trials of a temporal and spiritual charac- 
ter, it has remained for sixty-six years. My faith is not 
merely exercised r^;ardiing temporal things, but regarding 


everything, because I cleave to the Word. My knowledge 
of God and His Word is that which helps me.'' 

Being advised to go into the country for his health, he 
prayed about it and finally decided to go. He went to 
Devonshire, where the great blessing he had already re- 
ceived was greatly augmented by his conversations and 
prayers with a Spirit-fiUed minister whom he first heard 
preach at Teignmouth. Through the conversations and 
sermons of this minister he was led to see as never before 
''that the Word of God alone is our standard of judg- 
ment in spiritual things; that it can be explained only by 
His Holy Spirit; and that in our day, as well as in for- 
mer times, He is the teacher of His people. The office 
of the Holy Spirit I had not experimentally understood 
before that time," says he. " The result of this was, that 
the first evening that I shut myself into my room to give 
myself to prayer and meditation over the Scriptures, I 
learned more in a few hours than I had done during a 
period of several months previously.** Again, he says: 
*' In addition to these truths, it pleased the Lord to lead 
me to see a higher standard of devotedness than I had seen 

On his return to London, MuUer sought to lead his 
brethren in the training seminary into the deeper truths 
he had been brought to realize. " One brother in particu- 
lar," says he, *' was brought into the same state in which 
I was; and others, I trust, were more or less benefited. 
Several times, when I went to my room after family prayer, 
I found communion with God so sweet that I continued in 
prayer until after twelve, and then being full of joy, went 
into the room of the brother just referred to, and finding 
him also in a similar frame of heart, we continued pray- 
ing tmtil one or two, and even then I was a few times so 


full of joy that I could scarcely sleep, and at six in the 
morning again called the brethren together for prayer," 

Muller's health declined in London and his soul was 
also now on fire for God in such a way that he could not 
settle down to the routine of daily studies. His newly ac- 
quired belief in the near coming of Christ also urged him 
forward to work for the salvation of souls. He felt that 
the Lord was leading him to begin at once the Christian 
work he was longing to do, and as the London Mission- 
ary Society did not see proper to send him out without 
the prescribed course of training, he decided to go at once 
and trust the Lord for the means of support. Soon after 
this he became pastor of Ebenezer Chapel, Teignmouth, 
Devonshire. His marriage to Miss Mary Groves, a Devon- 
shire lady, followed. She was always of the same mind 
as her husband and their married life was a very happy 
one. Not long after his marriage he began to have con- 
scientious scruples about receiving a regular salary, and 
also about die renting of pews in his church. He felt 
that the latter was giving the '' man with the ring on his 
finger" the best seat, and the poorer brother the foot- 
stool, and the former was taking money from those who 
did not pve " cheerfully " or " as the Lord had prospered 
them." These two customs were discontinued by him. He 
and his wife told their needs to no one but the Lord. Oc- 
casionally reports were spread that they were starving; 
but though at times their faith was tried, their income was 
greater than before. He and his wife gave away freely 
all that they had above their present needs, and trusted 
the Lord for their " daily bread." 

Muller preached in many surrounding towns, and many 
souls were brought to Christ in his meetings. In 1832 he 
felt profoundly impressed that his work was ended in 
Teignmouth, and when he went to Bristol the same year 


he was as profoundly impressed that the Lord would have 
him work there. When the Spirit, the Word, and the 
providence of God agree, we may be quite certain that the 
Lord is leading us, for these three are always in harmony 
and cannot disagree. Not only did MuUer feel led of the 
Lord to work in Bristol, but the providence of God opened 
the way, and it seemed in harmony with the Word of God. 
MuUer began his labors in Bristol in 1832, as co-pastor 
with his friend Mr. Craik, who had been called to that 
city. Without salaries or rented pews their labors were 
greatly blessed at Gideon and Bethesda Chapels. The 
membership more than quadrupled in numbers in a short 
time. Ten days after die opening of Bethesda there was 
such a crowd of persons inquiring the way of salvation 
that it took four hours to minister to them. Subsequently 
Gideon Chapel was relinquished, and in the course of time 
two neighboring chapels were secured. These churches, 
though calling themselves non-sectarian, were usually 
classed with the people commonly known as " Plymouth 
Brethren.'' Muller continued to preach to them as long 
as he lived, even after he began his great work for the 
orphans. At the time of his death he had a congregation 
of about two thousand persons at Bethesda Chapel. 

In 1834 Mr. Muller started the Scripture Knowledge 
Institution for Home and Abroad. Its object was to aid 
Christian day-schools, to assist missionaries, and to cir- 
culate the Scriptures. This institution, without worldly 
patronage, without asking anyone for help, without con- 
tracting debts; without committees, subscribers, or mem- 
berships; but through faith in the Lord alone, had ob- 
tained and disbursed no less a sum than £1,500,000 ($7,- 
500,000) at the time of Mr. Muller's death. The bulk of 
this was expended for the orphanage. At the time of Mr. 
Muller's death 122,000 persons had been taught in the 


schools supported by these funds ; and about 282,000 Bibles 
and 1,500,000 Testaments had been distributed by means 
of the same fund. Also 112,000,000 religious books, pam- 
phlets and tracts had been circulated; missionaries had 
been aided in all parts of the world : and no less than ten 
thousand orphans had been cared for by means of this 

same fund. 

At the age of seventy, Mr. Muller began to make great 
evangelistic tours. He traveled 200,000 miles, going around 
the world and preaching in many lands and in several dif- 
ferent languages. He frequently spoke to as many as 4,500 
or 5,000 persons. Three times he preached throughout 
the length and breadth of the United States. He contin- 
ued his missionary or evangelistic tours until he was ninety 
years of age. He estimated that during these seventeen 
years of evangelistic work he addressed three million peo- 
ple. All his expenses were sent in answer to the prayer 
of faith. 

Greatest of all MuUer's undertakings was the erec- 
tion and maintenance of the g^eat orphanages at Bristol. 
He began the undertaking with only two shillings (50 
cents) in his pocket; but in answer to prayer and without 
making his needs known to human beings, he received the 
means necessary to erect the great buildings and to feed 
the orphans day by day for sixty years. In all that time 
the children did not have to go without a meal, and Mr. 
Muller said that if they ever had to go without a meal he 
would take it as evidence that the Lord did not will the 
work to continue. Sometimes the meal time was almost 
at hand and they did not know where the food would come 
from, but the Lord always sent it in due time, during the 
twenty thousand or more days that Mr. Muller had charge 
of the homes. 


When Muller b^^an to trust ^e Lord for money he 
found it as difficult to trust the Lord for a shilling (25 
cents) as it was afterwards to trust Him for a thousand 
pounds ($5,000). The more his faith was exercised, the 
stronger it became. Funds for one immense building after 
another were sent in answer to prayer, until Muller had 
received more than a hundred thousand pounds ($500,000) 
for this purpose alone. Six hundred pounds ($3,000) a 
week was required for the support of the orphans at the 
time of Mr. Muller's death, and yet the Lord sent them 
day by day their daily bread. 

When a youth, Muller had seen tiie g^eat orphanage 
at Halle, in Prussia, supported by Professor Francke in 
answer to the simple prayer of faith, and after going to 
Bristol he felt that the Lord was laying it upon his heart 
to b^n a similar work in that city, as a monument and 
testimony to the world to show that the Lord still hears 
and answers prayer. When he had accomplished this g^eat 
work, the Lord gently removed him. He dropped dead in 
his room on the night of March 10, 1898. One of his 
leading helpers informed the writer that every feature of 
his countenance showed that he had died in peace. 


It was ctaimed that the famous Spirit^filled evangelist, 
A.. B. Earle, author of "Bringing in the Sheaves," and 
•* The Rest of Faith," preached more frequently than any 
other man living at the same time. In fifty years he tra- 
veled 325,000 miles in the United States and Canada, 
preached 19,780 times, and 150,000 persons professed con- 
version in his meetings. He often preached three or four 
times in one day. He usually held union meetings, and 
frequently ten, twenty, or even thirty churches united in 
his protracted meetings. In one city fifteen hundred per- 
sons professed conversion to Christ as a result of his la- 
bors, and during an evangelistic tour of nine months' dura «- 
tion over five thousand people were gathered into the 
dhurches where he held meetings. He deserves to be 
ranked with the greatest evangelists and soul winners of 
all time. 

A writer in a leading British religious paper said con- 
cerning Mr. Earle: "His preaching was not eloquent. 
His delivery was not beyond the average. His voice had 
no special power. His large angular frame and passion- 
less mouth were decidedly against him. His sermons 
seemed sometimes as though composed thirty years ago, 
before we so often heard, as now, the more clear and ring- 
ing utterances of free g^'ace, and the name of Jesus in al- 
most every sentence. He exprssed his own emotions very 
simply, and did not often refer to them. His rhetoric was 


^08 A. B. EARLB 

often at fault, and s(»netimes even his grammar. Truly 
the enticing words of man's wisdom were wanting in his 

'* The first time I heard him I came away in wonder 
as to wherein his unusual gospel power lay; but as I lis- 
tened to him again and again, I could not help realizing 
how the congregation, and my own soul with lliem, were 
held by the power of God. When he preached on the 
value of a human soul, I do not remember a single thought 
or illustration that was new to me; and yet I came away 
overwhelmed in this realization of the infinite predousness 
of each child of Adam, and found myself as I awdke the 
next morning, weeping in sorrow and anxiety for lost sin- 
ners. That day there were, I trust, two souls given ,me 
in private conversations. 

** Yet there was nothing like the electric power which 
enabled Massillion, in the last century, to cause a multi- 
tude to start at once from their seats, in an agony of mor- 
tal terror, nor even the sobbing and outcry, as under Jona- 
than Edward's celebrated sermon on ' Eternity.' All was 
still. But about forty souls were baptized two or three 
days afterward. 

"Coming to the meeting perfectly free to follow the 
guidance of the Spirit, the preacher seemed as simple and 
as easily guided in any direction as the smallest child in 
the house. The congregation, which seemed to be so won- 
derfully swayed by him, were reially controlled by the same 
Holy Spirit which controlled him. He simply watched for 
and recognized the guidance of God, and walked in it. . . . 

"There was no rule in his movements. He sometimes 
asked the awakened to come forward, sometimes to rise 
in their seats; sometimes no expression was called for. 
All was simple and natural ; and the very simplicity itself, 

A. B. EARLB 303 

and tile unexpectedness of the direction of the meetings, 
surprised the unconverted out of their defences/' 

Earle was a Baptist, but he was strongly in favor of 
union meetings in evangelistic work. He believed that one 
of the most potent factors in bringing souls to Christ was 
the sight of Christians of different denominations working 
together in perfect harmony. His union meetings were so 
many and so large that he had the privilege of laboring 
with no less than eight thousand ministers, in almost every 
state in the United States, in three of the provinces of 
Canada, and in iht British Isles. " I have never charged 
any special sum for my services as an evangelist,'' says he^ 
" preferring to leave it to the people to give me, as a free- 
will offering, just what they chose at the close of eadi 
series of meetings." His famous book, ''Bringing in the 
Sheaves," has had an immense sale, and the proceeds were 

Earle was a strong believer in the preaching of future 
punishment. " I have found by long experience," says he, 
'' that the severest threatenings of the law of God have a 
prominent place in leading men to Christ. They must see 
themselves LXDST before they will cry for mercy. They 
will not escape from danger until they see it. I have rea- 
son to believe that a single sermon I have often preached 
on 'The Sin that Hath Never Forgiveness' (Mark 3:29), 
has been the means of more than twenty thousand conver- 
sions." He also says, concerning this sermon : " I have 
known scores to give themselves to Christ under a single 
sermon on this subject, again and again." "The wicked 
never flee from 'the wrath to come' until they are fully 
satisfied there is wrath," says he. 

Earle began preaching in 1830, when eighteen years of 
age, but his greatest success was after his own Christian 
experience was deepened, about the year i860. In his 

J04 A. B. EARLE 

little book entitled '' The Rest pi Faith/' written in i87i» 
he tells us how his own soul was led into the ''rest of 
faith " and enjoyment of the deeper things of God. ''About 
ten years ago/' says he, " I htgaji to feel an inexpressible 
hungering and longing for the fulness of Christ's love. I 
had often had seasons of great joy and peace in Christ, 
and in His service. I had seen many precious souls brou|^ 
into the fold of Christ. I fully believe I then belonged to 
Christ, that my name was in His family record. 

" I loved the work of the ministry, but had long felt 
an inward unrest, a void in my soul that was not filled. 
Seasons of great joy would be followed by seasons of 
darkness and doubt. If I had peace, I feared it would 
not continue ; and it did not. 

" Many anxious Christians came to me, complaining of 
the same thing. How could I help them on that point, 
when I did not know how to get right myself? I took 
them to the seventh chapter of Romans, and there left 
them, saying, ' O wretched man that I am ! who shall de- 
liver me from the body of this death?' I was there my- 
self, and supposed I must live and die there. 

" In this state I was exposed to severe temptations and 
attacks of the enemy. I made strong and repeated resolu- 
tions that I would be faithful, but could not keep them. 
Then I sought and found forgiveness again, and was happy, 
and said, ' Oh, that I could always enjoy such peace I' But 
it was soon disturbed by some word, or act, or heart-wan- 

"Thus I lived on for many years: now happy in my 
Christian experience, and now unhappy; sometimes doubt- 
ing and fearing, and sometimes resting. God gave me suc- 
cess in winning souls, and granted me many hours of sweet 

with my Saviour, for which I am truly grate- 

k» MItllllM 1)1 

A. B. EARLB 305 

ful ; still I was unsatisfied^ — I wanted an uninterrupted rest 
and peace. 

" I often read those precious words uttered by our Sav- 
iour, ' If ye abide in me and my words abide in you, ye 
shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you/ I 
longed and prayed to be there, but knew not the way. Oh 
that some one had then taught me the way of rest in Jesus ! 

"I frequently met CJhristians who claimed sinless per- 
fection : many of them were, indeed, a better type of 
Christians than ordinary professors ; but they did not seem 
perfect to me. The rest in Jesus, for which I longed, was 
still unfound. 

''At last I felt that the question for me to settle was 
this, — Can an imperfect Christian sweetly and constantly 
rest in a perfect Saviour, without condemnation? 

" This I revolved in my mind for a long time. I read, 
as far as I could, the experiences 6f those who seemed to 
live nearest to Christ. I searched the Scriptures for light, 
and asked such as I believed had power with God to pray 
with and for me, that I might be led aright on this great 
question. At length I became satisfied that Christ had 
made provision for me and all His children to abide in the 
fulness of His love without one moment's interruption. 

" Having settled this, I said : * I need this ; I long for 
it; I cannot truly represent religion without it, and Christ 
is dishonored by me every day I live without it. 

"I therefore deliberately resolved, by the help of my 
Redeemer, to obtain it at any sacrifice; little realizing how 
unlike Christ I then was, or how much would be needed, 
to bring me there. 

" I first procured a blank book, which 1 called my * Con- 
secration Book,' and slowly and solemnly, on my knees, 

wrote in it the following dedication: 

3o6 A. B. EARLE 

" *Andover, February lo, 1859. 

'''This day I make a new consecration of my all to 

" ' Jesus, I now forever give myself to Thee ; my soul 
to be washed in Thy blood and saved in heaven at last; 
my whole body to be used for Thy glory; my mouth to 
speak for Thee at all times ; my eyes to weep over lost sin- 
ners, or to be used for any purpose to Thy glory ; my feet 
to carry me where Thou shalt wish me to go; my heart 
to be burdened for souls, or used for Thee anywhere ; my 
intellect to be employed at all times for Thy cause and 
glory. I give to Thee my wife, my children, my property, 
all I have, and all that ever shall be mine. I will obey 
Thee in every known duty. *A. B. E.' 

" I then asked for grace to enable me to carry out that 
vow, and that I might take nothing from the altar. I 
supposed, with this consecration, entire as far as knowl- 
edge went, I should soon receive all diat my longjing heart 
could contain ; but in this I was sadly mistaken. 

"'I then came nearer to Christ. But as clearer light 
began to shine into my heart, I saw more of its vileness. 

'' I find in my journal the following : 

" ' Boston, December 22, 1859. 

'''The last three weeks have been weeks of great 
searching of heart. I never had my heart so seardied be- 
fore. I detect pride, envy, self-will, a g^eat deal of un- 
belief, my love to the Saviour to be very weak. Yet I 
have consecrated all to Christ, and cannot withdraw it 
from the altar. Oh, can a worm so vile be like Christ? 
I know it is possible; and if I am ever to be like Him, 
why not now, while I am where I can do good in leading 
others to Him. 

" ' I felt like a patient who, though in the hands of a 
skilful physician, groans and writhes under the severe 

A. B. EARLB 307 

treatment which has been found necessary in order to save 
his life. But my constant prayer was, " Be thorough with 
me, Jesus, — be thorough." Many a discouraging day fol- 
lowed this consecration and these heart-searchings. I g^ew 
weak and small and unworthy in my own estimation. 

"*At times my joy and peace were almost unbounded. 
Sometimes I felt that I grasped the prize so earnestly 
sought, but was shown hidden sin in my heart which great- 
ly humbled and distressed me. How fully I realized the 
words of J. B. Taylor, who said, while seeking this bless- 
ing, '' Notwithstanding my profession that I had crucified 
the world, the flesh, and the devil, I have had keener sor^- 
rows for indwelling sin than I even experienced before 

"'"Oh, the distress which I have felt on account of 
pride, envy, love of the world, and other evil passions 
which have risen up and disturbed my peace, and sepa- 
rated between God and my soul!" How many have real- 
ized all this, and even more, in their struggles after abid- 
ing rest in Jesus ! 

''"One sin that troubled me most, and was the hard- 
est to overcome, was a strong will, — sl desire, and almost 
a determination to have my own way ; — and thus— even in 
regard to little things, or any little injury or supposed 
wrong — to speak without reflection, and sometimes severe- 
ly, even to those I knew were my friends ; to say, " I will 
do this," and " I will do that." 

" ' This I clearly saw must be overcome, if I would be- 
come a consistent and useful Christian. As I could not 
do it myself, I gave it over to Jesus: He could give me 
grace to overcome even this But I found I gave nothing 
into the hands of Jesus, except by a sinful fai&. My 
faith was very deficient and weak: to believe the prom- 
ises fully was not easy. I believed the theory of religion ; 

3o8 A. B. EARLE 

but to have my heart grasp the reality, without wavering, 
was more difficult. Yet I found my faith growing stronger, 
tmtil at last I came to believe just what God had said in 
His Word. I found first the blade of faith, then the ear, 
and then the full com in the ear. No rest could be ob- 
tained until I could believe just what Grod had said, and 
trust Him fully. 

'' 'I felt that I must have in my heart something that 
I did not then possess. Before I could be filled with the 
fulness of Christ's love I must be emptied of self. Oh, 
the longing of my heart for what I then believed, and 
now believe, to be sweet and constant rest in Jesus I I 
believed I should receive, and thought it was near. 

'' ' I soon found it easier to resist temptation. I b^gan 
to trust Christ and His promise more fully. 

" * With this mingling of faith, desire, and expectation, 
I commenced a meeting on Cape Cod. After re-dedicat« 
ing myself, in company with others, anew to God, I was 
in my room alone, pleading for the fulness of Christ's love, 
when all at once a sweet, heavenly peace filled all the 
vacuum in my soul, leaving no longing, no unrest, no dis- 
satisfied feeling in my bosom. I felt, I knew, that I was 
accepted fully in Jesus. A calm, simple, childlike trust 
took possession of my whole being. . . . 

"'Then, for the first time in my life, I had the rest 
which is more than peace. I had felt peace before, but 
feared I should not retain it; now I had peace without 
fear, which really became rest. . . . 

" * This change occurred about five o'clock, on the eve- 
ning of the second day of November, 1863 ; and although 
I never felt so weak and small, yet Jesus has been my all 
since then. There has not been one hour of conscious 
doubt or darkness since that time. A heaven of peace 

A. B. EARLE 3og 

and rest fills my soul. Day and night the Saviour seems 
by me. 

'* * My success in leading souls to Jesus has been much 
greater than before. . . . 

"'Temptation is presented, but the power of it is 
broken. I seem to have a present Saviour in every time 
of need; so that for several years I have done the trust- 
ing and Jesus the keeping. . . .' " 

As we learn from his most famous book, '' Bringing in 
the Sheaves," Earle experienced wonderful spiritual power 
in his meetings after receiving the above experience. The 
sensible presence of the Spirit was sometimes so strong 
that the whole audience would be melted to tears, or feel- 
ings found vent in sobs or audible expressions of praise. 
The impenitent were awed and subdued by the presence 
and power of God, and they often flocked to God in mul- 
titudes. At one time Earle was so worn out and weary 
from praying with so many seekers, he had to leave them 
to pray their own way to Christ. People could often be 
heard praying at midnight in streets and houses and fields 
and bams as a result of his meetings. 

Earle depended entirely on the Holy Spirit's power to 
win souls to Christ. He says : " I have observed for 
nearly forty years past, that the secret of success in pro- 
moting revivals of religion is in having our own hearts 
filled with the Holy Spirit." Again, he says: Nothing 
can be a substitute for real power from on high. No 
amount of study, or talent, or effort, however untiring, 
can take the place of the fulness of Christ's love ; ' Not 
by might, nor by (human) power, but by my Spirit, saith 
the Lord.' " 

When Earle preached on " The Unpardonable Sin," in 
San Francisco, the power of God was so manifest that about 
five hundred persons rose for prayer. At a meeting in Bur- 


lingtoiiy Vermont, when he preached on *^ The Joy of Sahra- 
tion," about fifty ministers knelt at the altar to make an un- 
conditional surrender of their all to God. 

In his great sermon on ''Joy/' Earle shows the power 
of the life whidi is *' filled with joy and the Holy Ghost'' 
He tells of one woman who had been a Christian for years, 
and her husband had g^own more skeptical all the time. B}it 
a few days after she was filled with joy and the Holy Ghost, 
he came to the meetings all broken up under a sense of his 
sins. He said that his wife had been a professing Chris- 
tian for many years, but he had no desire for her kind of 
religion. But during the last few days she had been such an 
angel in the home that he could hold out no longer. 

Earle believed that the ''joy of the Lord" is the great 
secret in soul-winning. He believed that nothing would 
draw sinners to Christ so quickly as to see the joy of salva- 
tion in believers. This is the great point brought out in 
his book " Bringing in the Sheaves " With the Psalmist he 
prayed, "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and 
uplK>ld me with thy free Spirit; Then will I teach trans- 
gressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto 
thee" (Psahn5i:i3). 

Frances Ridley Havergal 


Few lives have left behind them a sweeter fragrance or 
holier influence than that of beautiful, talented, consecrated, 
Frances Ridley Havergal, who wrote " Take my life and let 
it be," and others of our most popular hymns. In tens 
of thousands of homes all over the world Miss Havergal's 
name is a household word. Countless multitudes have re- 
ceived blessing through her hymns and devotional works. 
Her little booklets, "My King," "Royal Commandments 
and Royal Bounty," "Daily Thoughts on Coming to 
Christ," "Kept for the Master's Use," and so on, have 
been the means of deepening the spiritual life of many of 
God's children. To Miss Havergal Christ was indeed "a 
living bright Reality ; " " more dear, more intimately nigh, 
than e'en the sweetest earthly tie." One of her latest whis- 
pers was, " I did so want to glorify Him in every step of 
my way." Many Christians sincerely desire to know the 
secret of such a life as hers, and to attain its lofty heights 
of joy and peace. 

Frances Ridley Havergal was the youngest child of 
Christian parents. She was bom in 1836, at Astley, in 
Worcestershire, England, where her father was rector at 
the time. She was a very beautiful child, fond of romping 
and climbing trees. She was so full of life and vivacity 
that her father called her his "Littie Quicksilver." She 
was very precocious, and could read simple books easily 

at three years of age. At four years of age she could write 



welly and could read the Bible correctly. Her father was 
a composer and musician of no little merit, and at nine 
years of age Frances wrote long letters to her friends in 
perfect rhyme. 

As a little girl Frances sang hymns sweetly, and she 
often sat upon her father's knee while he read the Script- 
ures ; but she did not remember having any serious impres- 
sions about religion tmtil she was six years old. At that 
age she was deeply convicted of sin by hearing a sermon 
which dwelt much on the terrors of hell and of the judg- 
ment day. She told no one, but the sermon was on her 
mind day and night, and she sought relief in prayer. She 
remained in great distress about her soul for two years 
without telling anyone about it. She then ventured to tell 
a certain curate of the Church of England, in which church 
she was raised and of which she continued a member ; but 
he attributed her feelings to a recent change of residence 
that her parents had made in moving from one rectory to 
another. He thought that she was simply homesick for the 
old home and friends, and advised her to be a good child 
and to pray. After this she did not open her heart to any- 
one for about five years, although she was under deep con- 
cern about her soul most of the time. Her mother died 
when she was twelve years of age, and this was a great 
blow to her. When between thirteen and fourteen years 
of age she went to the school of a Mrs. Teed, who was a 
godly woman, so filled with the Spirit that a great revival 
broke out in her school in which most of her pupils were 
converted to Christ. Many of the girls were so happy that 
'' their countenances shone with a heavenly radiance.'' This 
deepened Frances' conviction of sin, and she prayed more 
earnestly than ever for pardon. After much anxious 
seeking, she ventured to tell a Miss Cooke — ^who after- 
wards became her step-mother — how willing she was 10 


give tq> eveiything if she could only find Christ as her 
Saviour. Miss Cooke said, " Why cannot you trust your- 
self to your Saviour at once ? " Miss Havergal says, '^ Then 
came a flash of hope across me, which made me feel liter- 
ally breathless. I remember how my heart beat. ' I coidd 
surely,' was my response; and I left her suddenly and ran 
away upstairs to think it out. I flung myself on my knees 
in my room, and strove to realize the sudden hope. I was 
very happy at last I could commit my soul to Jesus. I 
could trust Him with my all for eternity.'' She then re- 
ceived a definite assurance of salvation. ''Then and 
there," says she, " I committed my soul to my Saviour, 
I do not mean to say without any trembling or fear, but I 
did — and earth and heaven seemed bright from that mo- 
ment — / did trust the Lord Jesus/' 

From the time of her conversion Frances lived a very 
earnest Christian life. She was in schools and colleges in 
England and Germany, and afterwards visited different 
parts of England, Switzerland, Wales, Ireland, and Scot- 
land, but everywhere she went she took a bold stand for 
Christ. She received a splendid education both in England 
and in Germany, and grew into a very beautiful and ac- 
complished young lady. She won many of the highest 
honors, and became proficient in several languages, includ- 
ing Latin, Greek, French, German, and Hebrew. She was 
a talented musician, a gifted singer, and wrote many 
poems of considerable merit. She was the only truly con- 
verted person among the hundred and ten young ladies in 
her school in Germany, but she took a firm stand for 
Christ, and suffered much persecution on that account but 
won the hearts of some of her schoolmates. Returning to 
England in 1854, she was confirmed in Worcester Cathe- 
dral. When the bishop laid hands on her and prayed, '* De- 
fendt O Lord, this Thy child with Thy heavenly grace, that 


she may continue Thine forever, and daily increase in Thy 
Holy Spirit more and more, until she come into Thy ever- 
lasting kingdom," her heart entered into the prayer. " If 
ever my heart followed a prayer it did then," says she, 
** if ever it thrilled with earnest longing not unmixed with 
joy, it did at the words * Thine for ever.' " She always ob- 
served the anniversary of her confirmation by spending 
the day in prayer and holy retirement. 

Although Miss Havergal lived a very earnest Christian 
life, and sought to glorify God and serve Him by teaching 
in Sunday School, singing in churches and elsewhere, visit- 
ing the needy, and so on, she felt that she was only a little 
child in the spiritual life, and she longed for a deeper 
Christian experience. Her writings began to attract much 
attention, and her sweet Christian spirit was noticed on 
every hand. She was a great student of the Word of God, 
and at the age of twenty-two knew the whole of the Gos- 
pels, Epistles, Revelation, Psalms, and Isaiah by heart, and 
the Minor Prophets she learned in later years. She asked 
the Lord to direct her writing, and to give her every word, 
and even the rhymes of her poetry. Still she longed for 
a deeper, richer, fuller Christian experience. Many were 
her longings to be filled with the Spirit, and to have a 
closer walk with God. In "Gleams and Glimpses," writ- 
ten in 1858, she says, " — ^gleams and glimpses, but oh to 
be filled with joy and the Holy Ghost! Oh, why cannot I . 
trust Him fully." Later she wrote, "I still wait for the 
hour when I believe He will reveal Himself to me more 
directly; but it is the quiet waiting of present trust, not 
the restless waiting of anxiety and danger." It was in 
1852, at the age of 22, that she wrote the well known 
hymn " I gave My life for thee," which reveals the deep 
longings of her heart to be more fully consecrated to 


Miss Havergal often met with dark places in seeking 
for a deeper experience. In 1865, she wrote, " I had hoped 
that a kind of table-land had been reached in my journey, 
where I might walk a while in the light, without the weary 
succession of rock and hollow, crag and morass, stumbling 
and striving; but I seem borne back into all the old diffi- 
culties of the way, with many sin-made aggravations. I 
think that the great root of all my trouble and alienation 
is that I do not now make an unconditional surrender of 
myself to God ; and until this is done I shall know no peace, 
I am sure of it." Later she says, " Oh, that He would in- 
deed purify me and make me white at any cost." She 
prayed regularly three times a day, and every morning she 
prayed especially for the Holy Spirit. After a season of 
sickness, she wrote, " Oh, that He may make me a vessel 
sanctified and meet for the Master's use! I look at trial 
and training of every kind in this light, not its effect upon 
oneself for oneself, but in its gradual Htting of me to do 
the Master's work. So, in every painful spiritual darkness 
or confliot, it has already comforted me to think that Grod 
might be leading me through strange dark ways, so that I 
might afterward be His messenger to some of His chil- 
dren in distress." She often wondered why others ob- 
tained so easily the blessing she had agonized and prayed 
for so long. Perhaps the Lord was letting her learn what 
trial was, so that her sweet songs might better comfort 
others in distress. She says, " I suppose that God's crosses 
are often made of most unexpected and strange material. 
Perhaps trial must be felt keenly, or it would not be power- 
ful enough as a medicine in the hands of our beloved 
Healer ; and I think it has been a medicine to me latterly." 
Again, she says, " I have learned a real sympathy with 
others walking in darkness, and sometimes it has seemed 
to help me to help them." Concerning her trials she also 


wrote, "Did you ever hear of anyone being very much 
used for Christ who did not have some special waiting 
time, some complete upset of all his or her plans first; from 
St. Paul being sent off into the desert of Arabia for three 
years, when he must have been boiling over with the glad 
tidings, down to the present day?" 

Miss Havergal traveled much throughout the British 
Isles, and made numerous trips to Switzerland; but wher- 
ever she was her soul still longed for a deeper experience. 
She spent much time in studying and marking her Bible, 
by the " rail-roading " method, and this increased her long- 
' ings to lay hold of the " exceeding great and precious prom- 
ises ** by which we are made '' partakers of the divine na- 
ture" (2 Peter 1:4). At this time she wrote, "I have 
been appropriating all of the promises with a calm sort of 
twilight happiness, waiting for a clearer light to show me 
their full beauty and value." 

At last the long looked for experience came, and it 
lifted her whole life into sunshine and gladness. The fol- 
lowing account of how she was brought into a Beulah Land 
experience is from the pen of her sister Maria, who also 
enjoyed the same experience. 

''We now reach a period in the life of dear Frances 
that was characterized by surpassing blessing to her soul. 
The year 1873 was drawing to a close, and she was again 
visiting Winterdyne. 

"One day she received in a letter from N a tiny 

book with the title 'AH for Jesus.' She read it carefully. 
Its contents arrested her attention. It set forth a fulness 
of Christian experience and blessing exceeding that to 
which she had as yet attained. She was gratefully con- 
scious of having for many years loved the Lord and de- 
lighted in His service; but there was in her experience a 
falling short of the standard, not so much of a holy walk 


and conversation, as of uniform brightness and continuous 
enjoyment in the Divine life. ' All for Jesus ' she found 
went straight to this point of the need and longing of her 
soul. Writing in reply to the author of the little book, she 
said, ^ I do so long for deeper and fuller teaching in my 
own heart/ * "All for Jesus '* has touched me very much. 
. . . I know I love Jesus, and tiiere are times when I 
feel such intensity of love for Him that I have not words 
to describe it. I rejoice too in Him as my " Master" and 
** Sovereign," but I want to come nearer still, to have the 
full realization of John xiv. 21, and to know " the power 
of his ressurrection," even if it be with the fellowship of 
His sufferings. And all this, not exacdy for my own joy 
alone, but for others. ... So I want Jesus to speak 
to me, to say " many things " to me, that I may speak for 
Him to otiiers with real power. It is not knowing doctrine, 
but being with Him, which will give this." 

" God did not leave her long in this state of mind. He 
Himself had shown her that there were * regions beyond ' 
of blessed experience and service ; had kindled in her soul 
the intense desire to go forward and possess them; and 
now, in His own grace and love, He took her by the hand, 
and led her into the goodly land. A few words from her 
correspondent on the power of Jesas to keep those who 
abide in Him from falling, and on the continually present 
power of His blood (' the blood of Jesus Christ his Son 
cleanseth from all sin/) were used by the Master in ef- 
fecting this. Very joyously she replied : ' / see it all, and 
I have the blessing.' 

"The ^sunless ravines' were npw forever passed, and 
henceforth her peace and joy flowed onward, deepening and 
widening under the teaching of God and the Holy Ghost. 
The blessing she had received had (to use her own words) 
'lifted her whole life into sunshine, of which all she had 


previously experienced was but as pale and passing April 
gleams compared with the fulness of stunmer glory.' 

" The practical effect of this was most evident in her 
daily true-hearted, whole-hearted, service for her King, and 
also in the increased joyousness of the unswerving obedi- 
ence of her home life, the surest test of all. 

"To the reality of this I do most willingly and fully 
testify. Some time afterwards, in answer to my question, 
when we were talking quietly together, Frances said, * Yes, 
it was on Advent Sunday, December 2, 1873, I first saw 
clearly the blessedness of true consecration. I saw it as 
a flash of electric light, and what you see, you can never 
unsee. There must be full surrender before there can be 
full blessedness. God admits you by the one into the 
ether. He Himself showed me all this most clearly. You 
know how singularly I have been withheld from attending 
all conventions and conferences; man's teachings has, con- 
sequently, had but little to do with it. First, I was shown 
that " the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from 
all sin," and then it was made plain to me that He Who 
had thus cleansed me had power to keep me clean; so I 
just utterly yielded myself to Him, and utterly trusted 
Him to keep me.' " 

In a letter to her sister Maria, written some months 
after the experience just described, Frances says with re- 
gard to it : " First, however, I would distinctly state, that 
it is only as and while a soul is under the full power of 
the blood of Christ that it can be cleansed from all sin; 
that one moment's withdrawal from that power, and it 

is again actively because really sinning; and that it is otdy 
as, and while, kept by the power of God Himself that we 

are not sinning against Him ; one instant of standing alone 

is certain fall! But, (premising that,) have we not been 

limiting the cleansing power of the precious blood when 


^plied by the Holy Spirit, and also the keeping power 
of God ? Have we not been limiting i John i : 7, by prac- 
tically making it refer only to * remission of sins that are 
past/ instead of taking the grand simplicity of 'cleanseth 
us from all sin ? ' * All ' is all; and as we may trust Him 
to cleanse us from the stain of past sins, so we may trust 
Him to cleanse us from all present defilement; yes, all! If 
not, we take away from this most precious promise, and, 
by refusing to take it in its fulness lose the fulness of its 
application and power. Then we limit God's power to 
keep;' we look at our frailty more than His omnipotence. 
Where is the line to be drawn, beyond which He is not 
*able?' The very keeping implies total helplessness with- 
out it, and the very cleansing most distinctly defilement with- 
out it. It was that one word 'cleanseth' which opened the 
door of a very glory of hope and joy to me. I had never 
seen the force of the tense before, a continual present, al- 
ways a present tense, not a present which the next moment 
becomes a past. It goes on cleansing, and I have no words 
to tell how my heart rejoices in it. Not a coming to be 
cleansed in the fountain only, but a remaining in the 
fountain, so that it may and can go on cleansing. 

"Why should we pare down the promises of God to 
the level of what we have hitherto experienced of what 
God is ' able to do,' or even of what we have thought He 
might be able to do for us ? Why not receive God's prom- 
ises, nothing doubting, just as they stand? 'Take the 
shield of faith, whereby ye shall be able to quench all the 
fiery darts of the wicked ; ' 'He is able to make all grace 
abound toward you, that ye, always having all sufficiency 
in all things;' and so on, through whole constellations of 
promises, which surely mean really and fully what they say. 

"One arrives at the same thing starting almost from 
anywhere. Take Philippians iv : 19, ' your need ; * well, 




what is my great need and craving of soul? Surdy it is 
now, (having been justified by faith, and having assur- 
ance of salvation,) to be made holy by the continual sancti- 
iymg power of God's Spirit ; to be kept from grieving the 
Lord Jesus ; to be kept from thinking or doing whatever is 
not accordant with His holy will. Oh what a need is this ! 
And it is said ' He shall supply all your need ;' now, shall 
we turn round and say ' all ' does not mean quite all ? Both 
as to the commands and promises, it seems to me that 
everything short of believing them as they stand is but an- 
other form of * yea, hath Gk)d said ? ' 

''Thus accepting, in simple and unquestioning faith, 
God's commands and promises, one seems to be at once 
brought into intensified views of everything. Never, oh 
never before, did sin seem so hateful, so really * intoler- 
able,' nor watchfulness so necessary, and a keenness and 
untnterruptedness of watchfulness too, beyond what one 
ever thought of, only somehow different, not a distressed 
sort but a happy sort. It is the watchfulness of a sentinel 
when his captain is standing by him on the ramparts, when 
his eye is more than ever on the alert for any sign of the 
approaching enemy, because he knows they can only ap- 
proach to be defeated. Then, too, the 'all for Jesus' 
comes in; one sees there is no half way, it must be abso- 
lutely all yielded up, because the least unyielded or doubt- 
ful point is sin, let alone the great fact of owing all to Him. 
And one cannot, dare not, temporize with sin. I know, and 
have found, that even a momentary hesitation about yield- 
ing, or obeying, or trusting and believing, vitiates all, the 
communion is broken, the joy is vanished ; only, thank God, 
this need never continue even five minutes, faith may plunge 
instantly into ' the fountain, open for sin and undeanness/ 
and again find its power to cleanse and restore. Then one 
wants to have more and more light; one does not shrink 


from painful discoveries of evil, because one so wants to 
have the unknown depths of it cleansed as well as what 
comes to the surface. ' Qease me throughly from my sin ;* 
and one prays to be shown this. But so far as one does 
see, one must 'put away sin' and obey entirely; and here 
again His power is our resource, enabling us to do what 
without it we could not do. 

** One of the intensest moments of my life was when I 
saw the force of that word ' cleanseth' The utterly unex- 
pected and altogether unimagined sense of its fulfillment 
to me, on simply believing it in its fulness, was just inde- 
scribable. I expected nothing like it short of heaven." Re- 
ferring to the same experience, in a letter to a friend, she 
said, '' The year 1873 has been a time of unprecedented 
blessing to me." 

Miss HavergaFs whole life was now lifted to a higher 
plane, and the few remaining years were the richest of 
her life, richest in Christian experience and richest in ser- 
vice for her King. Wherever she went her life was full of 
service, and her words were winged with a new spiritual 
power. It was at this time too that she wrote her great 
consecration hymn, "Take my life and let it be," She 
says, " Perhaps you will be interested to know the origin 
of the consecration h)rmn, *Take my life.' I went for a 
little visit of five days. There were ten persons in the 
house, some unconverted and long prayed for, some con- 
verted but not rejoicing Christians. He gave me the prayer, 
* Lord, give me aU in this house ! ' And He just did ! Be- 
fore I left the house everyone had got a blessing. The last 
night of my visit I was too happy to sleep, and passed most 
of the night in praise and renewal of my consecration, and 
these little couplets formed themselves and chimed in my 
heart one after another, till they finished with, ' Ever, Only, 
ALL for Theel'" She now refused to sing anything ex« 


cept sacred songs and hymns. Her voice, like her pen, was 
"always, only, for her King;" and many hearts were 
touched by her consecrated singing and writing. She con- 
sidered every moment of her time as* belonging to the Lord, 
and sought to use it to His glory. She was very fond of 
romping over the mountains in Switzerland, and her Al- 
pine guide said that in climbing them she '' went up like a 
chamois," but these rambles were for the benefit of her 
health, and she embodied in her writings the thoughts con- 
cerning God suggested to her by His handiwork in nature. 
She also sought to win souls for Christ during her numer- 
ous visits to Switzerland. Not only did she>consider every 
moment of her time as wholly the Lord's, but she regarded 
every penny of her money as belonging to Him. " I forget 
sometimes," says she, ''but as a rule I never spend a six- 
pence without the distinct feeling that it is His, and must 
be spent for Him only, even if indirectly." She did not 
feel free to spend her money for " costly array." She gave 
her jewelry for the missionary cause, and dressed plainly 
but neatly. Her idea of the proper way for a Christian to 
dress was so as not to attract attention either by slovenli- 
ness or extravagance. " The question of cost I see very 
strongly," says she, ** and do not consider myself at liberty 
to spend on dress that which might be spared for God's 
work ; but it costs no more to have a thing well and pret- 
tily made, and I should only feel justified in getting a costly 
dress if it would last proportionately longer." 

Miss Havergal's time was now occupied with her writ- 
ing, in giving Bible readings and addresses, in visiting the 
poor, and in doing needlework for the Zenana missions and 
for the poor. In 1877 she took up temperance work as 
well. She spent much time in visiting from house to house, 
to read the Bible and point souls to Christ. She often gave 
Bible readings or addressed meetings in drawing rooms and 


Other places, and frequently led consecration meetings. The 
first consecration meeting she was ever in was conducted 
by herself, and it was a time of rich blessing. Deeply spir- 
itual and full of trust were her Bible readings and addresses. 
She often sang in churches, hospitals, and other places. 
Every morning she spent much time in studying and mark- 
ing her Bible, sitting at her table to do so. Sometimes, on 
bitterly cold mornings, her sister would beg her to study 
with her feet to the fire. "But then," Frances would reply, 
" I can't rule my lines neatly; just see what a find I've got! 
If one only searches there are such extraordinary things in 
the Bible ! " Many were the letters of comfort and conso- 
lation that she sent to all parts of the earth. Her books also 
carried a blessing with them wherever they went. Children 
flocked to her in crowds, and grown people corresponded 
with her from all quarters. From morning to night she 
was occupied in the Master's service. 

Miss Havergal often referred to the experience of 1873, 
which made the closing years of her life such a blessing to 
others. In 1875 she said to her sister, " It's no mistake, 
Marie, about the blessing God sent me December 2, 1873 ; 
it is far more distinct than my conversion, I can't date that. 
I am always happy, and it is such peace," The same year 
she wrote, " He has granted me to rejoice fully in His will, 
I am not conscious of even a wish crossing it ; I do really 
and altogether desire that His will may be done, whatever 
it is." Even when suffering from poor health, or after some 
great temporal loss, she could still " rejoice in the Lord, 
and joy in the God of her salvation" (Habakkuk 3: 18). 
When her American publishers failed, and she did not re- 
ceive the money due for her books, she wrote, "I have not 
a fear, or a doubt, or a care, or a shadow upon the sunshine 
of my heart." Later, when many valuable stereotype plates 
of her music and songs were destroyed by fire, she was still 


happy, believing that God had a purpose in allowing adver- 
sities. She was a daily illustration of "Without Careful- 

She suffered much from poor health; and as the years 
went on her health was more and more broken. She liter- 
ally wore herself out ministering to others. When her 
friends sympathized with her sufferings in her last illness, 
she whispered, " Never mind I It's home the faster ! God's 
will is delicious; He makes no mistakes." Shortly before 
she expired she requested that her favorite text, " The blood 
of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth from all sin," should be 
placed on her tomb. On her dying bed she frequently ex- 
claimed, " So beautiful to go ! " Near the end she said, 
** Oh, I want you all to speak bright, Bright words for 
Jesus ! Oh, do, do ! It is all perfect peace, I am only wait- 
ing for Jesus to take me in." 

Perhaps Miss Havergal's experience is best described in 
her own words, quoted by her sister : 

There were strange soul depths, restless, vast, and broad, 

Unfathomed as the sea; 
An infinite craving for some infinite stilling; 
But now Thy perfect love is perfect filling. 

Lord Jesus Christ, my Lord, my God, 

Thou, Thou art enough for me." 

A. J. Gordon 


One of the most famous Spirit-filled ministers of mod- 
cm times was Dr. Adoniram Judson Gordon. His deeply 
spiritual books, especially "The Ministry of the Spirit," 
have been a means of deepening the faith and experience 
of many of the Lord's children. 

Gordon was bom in New Hampshire, April 13, 1836 
His parents were devout Christians of the Old School Bap- 
tist type. Adoniram was a " thoughtless, somewhat indif- 
ferent, unresponsive lad " until about fifteen years of age. 
There were twelve children in the family, and his life, like 
that of the others, was little out of the ordinary. He helped 
his father in the little wooden mill owned by him, and 
worked on the farm. 

At about fifteen years of age Adoniram became inter- 
ested in the salvation of his soul. His conviction of sin be- 
came very deep until finally it was almost unendurable. He 
spent a whole night in such anguish of soul that his father 
was obliged to sit up with him until daybreak. " Calm as 
the sunshine which flooded the hills the next day was the 
boy spirit which had found peace with God through our 
Lord Jesus Christ," says his son, in the biography of his 

Soon after his conversion to Christ he was baptized and 
received into the church. Before his conversion he cared 
but little for books. Study was a very unpleasant task 
to him. But after his conversion new desires and ambitions 


330 A. J. GORDON 

took possession of hiniy and he applied himself diligently 
to his studies. Soon after his sixteenth year he openly 
confessed to the church his desire and determination to 
prepare for the ministry. An old deacon remarked to 
someone, ** Judson is a good boy, and would make a good 
minister if he only had energy." Little did he foresee the 
life of incessant toil and consecrated energy awaiting the 
seemingly sluggish lad. 

Young Gordon was sent to a preparatory school, and 
worked during all his spare hours to help pay his tuition 
and other expenses. He was very anxious to master the 
Greek language, so that he would better understand the 
New Testament. In 1856 he went to Brown University. 
He took but meditun rank as a scholar, but his reading was 
extensive. In i860 he entered the Newton Theological 
Seminary. The Civil War then broke out, and he was fired 
with a desire to go to the front with many of his comrades. 
But, strong abolitionists as they were, his parents were so 
thoroughly opposed to his going that he finally gave up the 

Before leaving the seminary he preached a number of 
times in surrounding villages. In 1863 he graduated, and 
accepted a call to become pastor of the little diurch at 
Jamaica Plain, near Boston. He was six years at this 
little church on the suburbs of Boston. The church pros- 
pered and increased in numbers under his ministry, and the 
people were loathe to part with him when he received a call 
from an important church in Boston, in 1867. He declined 
the new call over and over again, but the Boston diurch 
would take no denial. He wrote out a letter of acceptance, 
but tore it up again. At last the pressure became so great 
that, in 1869, he accepted the pastorate of the Qarendon 
Street Baptist Church, in Boston, the church where he 
was destined to become famous. 

A. /. GORDON 831 

Boston was full of skepticism and unbelief, and Qar- 
endon Street Church was in a very sluggish spiritual con- 
dition when Gordon became the pastor. It was a very 
wealthy and exclusive church, and there was but little 
room for the poor in it. "A line of substantial mer- 
chants and bankers ran up and down the ends of the 
most desirable pews." 

Dr. Gordon remained pastor of Clarendon Street Church 
for more than a quarter of a century. By persevering in 
preaching the plain unvarnished truths of the gospel he 
at last saw the church completely transformed. It be- 
came one of the most spiritual and aggressive churches. 

The great secret of Dr. Gordon's wonderful success in 
the ministry was doubtless in his own personal experience 
of the baptism and anointing of the Holy Spirit, which he 
seems to have received at one of Mr. Moody's conferences 
at Northfieldy some time after he began his ministry at the 
Clarendon Street Church. The deepening of his spiritual 
experience seems to have been brought about through two 
great agencies — the prayers and labors of the famous Uncle 
John Vassar, and the great meetings which Mr. Moody held 
in Boston close to Dr. Gordon's church, in 1877. Of Unde 
John Vassar, Gordon wrote : " Far beyond any man whom 
I ever knew, was it true of him that his citizenship was in 
heaven, and so filled was he with the glory and power of 
the heavenly life that to many he seemed like a foreigner 
speaking an unknown tongue. I have never been so hum- 
bled and quickened by contact with any living man as with 
him. Hundreds of Christians, while sorrowing that they 
shall see his face no more for the present, will bless God 
as long as they live for the inspiration which they received 
from his devoted life." Ernest B. Gordon, son of Dr. Gor- 
don, says, concerning Uncle John Vassar : " For five suc- 
cessive years, off and on, ' Unde John ' labored with the 

332 A. J. GORDON 

Qarendon Street Church in his peculiar work of * spiritaal 
census-taking/ going through the streets of proud, ccdti- 
vated, self-righteous Boston, ringing every door-bell, and 
confronting every household with the g^eat question of the 
new birth. He was wont to describe himself as 'only a 
shepherd dog, ready to run after the lost sheep and bring 
them back to the Shepherd,' and ever refused the honors 
and emoluments of the ministry. He would literally travail 
in prayer for the unconverted. * The nights which he spent 
at my home,' writes Gordon, * were nights of prayer and 
pleading for my congregation and my ministry. Again and 
again would I hear him rising in the midnight hours to 
plead with God for the unsaved, till I had frequently 'to 
admonish him that he must not lose his sleep.' And so he 
wrought and prayed and instructed the young minister, 
meekly teachable before such a master of spiritual things, 
in those hard-learned and rarely acquired secrets which 
open the way to the heart of sinful humanity. 

''The inspiration this faithful man brought with him 
accrued principally to the pastor of Clarendon Street The 
influence of Mr. Moody's meetings in 1877 affected both 
pastor and people. Indeed, this year was the turning-point, 
the climacteric which, after seven years of lethargic re- 
ligious life, opened a new period of spiritual health. When 
the revival meetings were finished, Gordon realized that 
Che crest of the hill had been passed, and that the crisis in 
the struggle for a spiritual church was over. 

" These meetings which were organized and carried on 
by Mr. Moody with all the executive ability and religious 
fervor for which he is distinguished, were held in a large 
tabernacle — b, great ' tent,' indeed, of brick and spruce tim- 
ber, with nothing about it to attract but the gospel of Christ 
preached therein. This building stood within three hundred 
feet of the Clarendon Street Church, which was used from 

A. J. GORDON 333 

Ac banning for overflow and ' inquiry ' meetings. The 
tabernacle was thronged night after night by audiences of 
from five to seven thousand. People of all ranks and con- 
ditions attended. Excursion trains brought in thousands 
from all parts of New England. Seventy thousand fam- 
ilies in Boston were personally visited. Great noon prayer- 
meetings were held daily in Tremont Temple by business 
men. Meetings were organized for young men, for boys, 
for women, for the intemperate — ^in short, for all classes in 
the community that were ready to help or be helped. 

*' And at the center of all these operations stood the 
Qarendon Street Church, like a cemetery temporarily oo 
cupied by troops in battle. What a shattering and over« 
whelming of weather-stained moss-grown traditions fol« 
lowed! What experiences of grace, what widening vistas 
of God's power, what instruction in personal religion, re- 
sulted from these six months of revival! A window was 
built into the religious life of the church, letting in floods 
of light The true purpose of a church's existence began 
to be emphasized. Drunkards and outcasts were daily re- 
claimed, and brought into fellowship. Christian evidences 
of the best sort, evidences which had to do with the potency 
of a saving Christ, were multiplied to affluence, strengthen- 
ing the faith of believers. The duty and opportunity of all 
in the work of the inquiry room were asserted. A great 
education in methods of practical religious work resulted." 

It seems to have been in 1882, during the first of Mr. 
Moody's Northfield conventions, that Gordon received the 
anointing of the Holy Spirit. We quote the following ac- 
count from the biography written by his son. 

"The letters which follow touch closely upon North- 
field, and illustrate from Dr. Gordon's personal experience 
the doctrine of ' enduement for service,' which he preached 
with so mixch power at the conferences. 

334 A. J. CORDON 

" 'Df . Gordon/ writes Mr. George C. Needham, * unlike 
some Christians, believed there was something always be- 
yond. This he ever sought to attain. Fifteen years ago, 
during the first Northfield convention, he was desirous to 
secure what he yet needed as a saint and servant of Christ. 
Toward the close of those memorable ten days, spent more 
in prayer than in preaching, my beloved friend joined me 
in a midnight hout of great heart-searching and infilling 
of the Spirit. He read with peculiar tenderness our Lord's 
intercessory prayer of John XVII. The union of the be- 
liever with Christ and the Father, as taught by our Lord 
in that chapter, called out fervent exclamations, while with 
deep pathos he continued reading. During united prayer 
which followed the holy man poured out his soul with a 
freedom and unction indescribable. I never heard him 
tx>ast of any spiritual attainment reached during the mid- 
night hour. Soul experiences were to him very sacred, and 
not to be rehearsed on every ordinary occasion. But I have 
no doubt he received then a divine touch which further en- 
nobled his personal life and made his ministry of ever-in- 
creasing spirituality and of ever-widening breadth of sym- 
pathy/ " 

Immediately after the conference referred to above. Dr. 
Gordon went to Seabright, New Jersey, to preach one Sun- 
day. The following is from a letter of one who heard him 
preach at this sea-'side resort : " I remember his once coming 
from Northfield after the August Conference. He seemed 
filled with the Spirit ; he could not talk commonplaces. He 
said he had had a great blessing. He went to his rocnn, and 
came out shortly after and said he was going down to the 
fisher village, and asked the way. He did not come back 
until we were at dinner that hot afternoon. He had visited 
the beer and liquor saloons and prayed with the men thcfCb 

A. J. GORDON 335 

and had been among the shanties. I know more than one 
family saved that day." 

Dr. Gordon's Spirit-filled life and deeply spiritual books 
have had a powerful influence for good throughout the 
worldy and his memory has the sweet savor of a saintly 
life. He was one of the most prominent leaders and 
speakers in Mr. Moody's great Northfield Conventions, 
and one year Mr. Moody left the Convention entirely in 
his charge. Dr. Arthur T. Pierson, speaking concerning 
Gordon's addresses at these conventions, says : " He taught 
with authority, but it was with a derived and deputed au- 
thority. Among all the renowned speakers at the Northfield 
Conference, he was facile princeps ; and the address he gave 
there last summer on the Holy Spirit has been pronounced 
by competent judges the most complete ever given, even 
from that platform of great teachers." 

In his " Ministry of the Spirit," which is perhaps his 
g^eaitest work. Dr. Gordon presents the work of the Holy 
Spirit in a three-fold aspect, — sealing, filling, and anoint- 
ing. The sealing is accompanied with assurance, the filling 
with power, and the anointing with knowledge. In his well 
known book on " The Ministry of Healing," Dr. Gordon 
opposes the so-called " Christian Science," which had its 
headquarters in Boston, the city where his church was lo- 
cated ; but he advocated the power of the Lord to heal dis- 
ease or to keep His children well without the use of medi- 
cines. Dr. Gordon was also a firm believer in the pre-mil- 
lenial coming of Christ. He preached much on these 
deeper spiritual themes in the many conventions visited by 
him. His services were in great demand in religious gath- 
erings throughout the country, and great multitudes eagerly 
listened to his sermons. His missionary training school in 
Boston also became a great factor for the spread of the gos- 
peL His church became so spiritual and energetic that it 

336 A. J. GORDON 

undertook many diflferent forms of Christian work, includ- 
ing the missionary training institute, a mission to the Jews, 
a mission to the Chinese, a mission to the colored people, 
an industrial home, rescue work for fallen women, and 
evangelistic work on the wharves, in hospitals, in street car 
stables, and in weak churches. From ten to twenty mis- 
sionaries and evangelists were also working in connection 
with Clarendon Street Church. Often the church was 
crowded to the doors with eager listeners. Even Jews and 
Chinamen were often brought to Christ in the meetings. 

Dr. Gordon felt that he could not consistently denounce 
theatre going if he allowed the house of prayer to be turned 
into a play-house. He sometimes quoted a returned mis- 
sionary as saying : " For the honor of Christ I pray that 
the heathen may never learn how the American Christians 
raise money for missions." No questionable forms of rais- 
ing money were ever resorted to in his church. He sought 
to follow the Scriptures implicitly and would not allow the 
use of leavened, or fermented, wine or bread in the com- 

The " Life of David Brainerd," the consecrated mission- 
ary, had a wonderful influence in deepening the spiritual 
life of Gordon. He declared that he had never received 
such spiritual help from any other book of human origin. 
He used to visit the graves of Eliot, Brainerd, and Ed- 
wards, and there received fresh inspiration to devote his 
life fully to the service of God. 

On the morning of Feb. 2, 1895, ^^' Gordon, with " Vic- 
tory " as the last clearly audible word on his lips, fell asleep 
in Jesus, so far as the mortal body was concerned ; but his 
spirit is doubtless with the " great cloud of witnesses " men- 
tioned in the eleventh chapter of the book of Hebrews. His 
life will continue to exert a hallowed influence in this world. 


D. L. Moody was undoubtedly one of the greatest 
evangelists of all time. The meetings held by Moody and 
Sankey were among the gfreatest the world has ever known. 
They were the means under God of arousing the church to 
new life and activity, and were the means of sweeping tens 
of thousands of persons into the kingdom of God. 

Mr. Moody was one of the weak instruments which God 
has chosen to confound the mighty. Like Christmas Evans, 
he had very littie education before his conversion to Christ. 
At seventeen years of age he could scarcely read or write, 
and in a Bible class he could not turn to the book of John 
but searched for it in the Old Testament. After his conver- 
sion he became a proficient scholar. Few men have learned 
so much in the school of observation. 

Dwight Lyman Moody was of old New England Puri- 
tan stock. For seven generations, or two hundred years, 
his ancestors lived the quiet lives of farmers in the Con- 
necticut Valley. Moody inherited the vigorous constitu- 
tion and hardy common sense of the typical New Englander. 
He was the sixth child in a family of nine children, and 
was bom February 5, 1837, in the town of Northfield, Mas- 
sachusetts, where he afterwards founded his famous Bible 
schools. His home town was always very dear to him, and 
it was one of the greatest pleasures of his life to return to 
it after a long and arduous evangelistic campaign. 


340 D,L, MOODY 

Moody's father died at the early age of forty-one, and 
left his widow in poverty with a mortgage on the home and 
seven children to support. The creditors seized everything 
they could, even to the firewood, and the children had to 
stay in bed until schooltime to keep warm. A brother of 
the widowed mother then came to their rescue and helped 
to relieve their immediate needs. In their extremity Rev. 
Mr. Everett, the Unitarian minister, was very kind to them, 
and all the Moody children became members of his Sunday 
School, and were enlisted as workers to bring in other chil- 
dren. It was here, therefore, that young Moody began his 
successful career as a Sunday School worker. Moody's 
mother had sought to bring up her children as a Christian 
mother should and Dwight never wandered into g^oss sins 
as so many young men have done. Lying, complaining, 
breaking of promises, or talking evil about others, was 
never allowed in the home. One evening when the chil- 
dren had but little to eat, they divided their scant supply 
with a beggar. When Dwight was eight years of age, he 
and an elder brother were crossing the river in a skiflf with 
a boatman who was too drunk to row the boat, and who 
would not let them touch the oars. They were drifting 
rv ith the current, but Dwight urged his brother to trust in 
the Lord, and they came safely to land. Dwight was mis- 
chievous but not wicked as a boy. 

The Moody family were so poor that the boys would 
carry their shoes and stockings in their hands on their way 
to church, to save them from wear, and when in sight of 
the church would put them on. Dwight thought it hard, 
after working all week, to have to go to church and listen 
to a sermon he did not understand. Once the preacher had 
to send someone to the gallery to awaken him. But he got 
in such a habit of going that he could not stay away, and 

D, L. MOODY 341 

he afterwards said that he thanked his mother for making 
him go when he did not feel like going. 

At ten years of age Dwight left home in company with 
another brother to work at a place about thirteen miles 
away. This nearly broke his mother's heart, as she had 
striven so hard to keep the family together. He was fondly 
attached to his mother and sorrowed over leaving her. 
When he arrived at the new place an aged man gave him 
a penny and bade him trust the Lord. " That old man's 
blessing has followed me for fifty years," said Mr. Moody. 

At seventeen years of age, Moody, tired of farm life 
and ambitious to work his way upward in the world, de- 
cided to go to Boston. He arrived there without any 
money, and tried in vain to find work until he was almost 
in despair. He then found emplo)mient with an uncle who 
was in the shoe business. He succeeded well as a salesman, 
and became a regular attendant at the Mount Vernon Con- 
gregational Sunday School. Having but little schooling, he 
took but little part in the discussions in the class in Sunday 
School, but gradually became deeply interested in the study 
of the Bible, and finally took part in the discussions in the 
class. His teacher, Mr. Kimball, took great interest in him, 
and gradually led him to see the plan of salvation until all 
that was necessary was a personal interview to lead him 
to Christ. Mr. Kimball prayerfully sought for a proper 
time for this interview. 

" I determined to speak to him about Christ and about 
his soul," says Mr. Kimball, " and started down to Holton's 
shoe store. When I was nearly there I began to wonder 
whether I ought to go in just then during business hours. 
I thought that possibly my call might embarass the boy, and 
that when I went away the other clerks would ask who I 
was, and taunt him with my efforts in trying to make him 
a good boy. In the meantime I had passed the store, and. 

342 D, L, MOODY 

discovering this, I determined to make a dash for it and 
have it over at once. I found Moody in the back part of 
the building wrapping up shoes. I went up to him at once, 
and putting my hand on his shoulder, I made what I after- 
ward thought was a very weak plea for Christ. I don't 
know just what words I used, nor could Mr. Moody tell. 
I simply told him of Christ's love for him and the love 
Christ wanted in return. That was all there was. It 
seemed the young man was just ready for the light that 
then broke upon him, and there, in the back of the store in 
Boston, he gave himself and his life to Christ." 

Moody's whole life was now changed, and became one 
of joyful Christian service. " Before my conversion," says 
he, " I worked towards the Cross, but since then I have 
worked from the Cross; then I worked to be saved, now 
I work because I am saved." Again, he says : " I remem- 
ber the morning on which I came out of my room after I 
first trusted Christ. I think the sun shone a good deal 
brighter than it ever had before — I thought that it was 
just smiling upon me ; and as I walked out on Boston Com- 
mon and heard the birds singing in the trees, I thought they 
were all singing a song to me." 

Moody was now running over with zeal and love for 
the Master, but he does not seem to have received mudi 
help and encouragement from the conservative deacons and 
church members in the church which he was attending. 
Next year after his conversion he was denied church mem- 
bership, because he was " not sufficiently instructed in Chris- 
tian doctrine." Three of the committee who examined him 
were appointed to instruct him in the way of God more per- 

In 1856, the second year after his conversion, Moody 
went to Chicago, where he united with the Plymouth Con- 
gregational Church and became a very active Christian 

p. L. MOODY 343 

worker, putting his soul and energy into the work of win- 
ning men to Christ. He rented a pew in the church, and 
filled it with young men every Sunday. Then he rented an- 
other and another until he had rented and filled four pews. 
The great revival awakened by Finney spread to Chicago, 
and Moody was in his element. Meanwhile he was pros- 
pering in his business, and was so good a salesman of shoes 
that his employer sent him out as a commercial traveler. 

He found a little mission Sunday School in Chicago 
where they had sixteen teachers and only twelve scholars. 
Here he applied to become a teacher. They consented on 
condition that he would find his own scholars. This just 
suited his taste and next Sunday he arrived with eighteen 
little hoodlums which he had gathered from the streets. 
He soon had the building crowded. In the fall of 1858 
he began another mission school on a larger scale in an- 
other part of the city. The large hall was soon over- 
crowded. He then procured a larger hall, which after- 
ward developed into one of the leading churdies of Chi- 
cago. This big hall he soon had filled with street '* gam- 
ins." The children loved him and crowded in by the hun- 
dreds and sung the hymns with great enjoyment. Moody 
also enticed them in with prizes, free pony rides, picnics, 
candies, and other things dear to the hearts of children. 
Scholars were allowed to transfer to any class they de- 
sired by simply notifying the superintendent ; and this plan 
resulted in the survival of the fittest teachers. The school 
soon numbered 1,500. Moody decided to build a church 
and issued certificates on the " North Market Sabbath 
School Association; capital $10,000; 40,000 shares at 25 
cents each." The Sunday School grew to such propor- 
tions that parents were drawn in, and then meetings were 
held almost every night in the week. Many prominent men 
assisted Moody in the Sunday School and in the meetings, 

344 I>'L. MOODY 

but so much devolved on him that he had sometimes to be 
both janitor and superintendent. This practical training 
contributed much to his success as a preacher. Doubtless 
he needed such training, as at first he seems to have spoken 
very awkwardly in public. When he first arose to speak 
in a prayer-meeting one of the deacons assured him that, 
in his opinion, he would serve God best by keeping still. 
Another critic, who praised Moody for his zeal in filling 
the pews at Plymouth Church, said that he should realize 
his limitations and not attempt to speak in public. '' You 
make too many mistakes in grammar," said he " I know 
I make mistakes," was the reply, " and I lack many things, 
but I'm doing the best I can with what I've got." He then 
paused, and looking at the man searchingly, inquired, in 
his own inimitable way, " Look, here, friend, you've got 
grammar enough — what are you doing with it for the 
Master ? " 

Mr. Moody's great Sunday School work was accom- 
plished before he was more than twenty-three years of 
age. With all his work for Christ he had no thought of 
entering the ministry until he found that souls were being 
led to Christ through his efforts. He then decided to give 
up the business in which he had been engaged, and in 
which he had already made over $7,000, and to devote all 
his time to Christian work. 

During the Civil War Moody became a prominent mem- 
ber of the Christian Commission, and did a great work 
holding meetings and distributing gospels and tracts among 
the soldiers and prisoners of war quartered in Chicago and 
on many leading battle->fields of the Southern States. 
After the war he returned to Chicago and again devoted 
himself to Sunday School and Young Men's Christian As- 
sociation work. His Sunday School was so great a suc- 
cess that it made him famous all over the country. In- 

D. L. MOODY 345 

quiries concerning his methods of work came from all 
directions, and people traveled thousands of miles to learn 
them. He was called to many places to address Sunday 
School conventions and to help organize Sunday School 
work. Through his efforts many Sunday Schools were led 
to agree to use the same lessons each Sunday, and thus 
the International Sunday School lessons were started. 

Moody became one of the most prominent Young 
Men's Qiristian Association workers in America, and it 
was at a Y. M. C. A. convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, 
in 1870, that he first met Ira David Sankey, who was 
destined to become his great singing partner. Moody was 
so impressed with his singing that he asked him to come 
with him and sing for him, and in Indianapolis they held 
their first meeting together, in the open air. Some months 
afterward Sankey gave up his business and joined Mr. 
Moody in his work. 

In 1867 Mr. Moody made up his mind to go to Great 
Britain and study the methods of Christian work employed 
in that country. He did so, accompanied by Mrs. Moody, 
who was suffering from asthma. He was particularly 
anxious to hear Spurgeon, the great English preacher, and 
George Muller, who had the large orphanages at Bristol. 
Moody was then unknown in England except to a few 
prominent Sunday School leaders, but he spoke a number 
of times in London and Bristol with good results. 

It was during this first visit to Britain that Moody 
heard the words which set him hungering and thirsting 
after a deeper Christian experience and which marked a 
new era in his life. The words were spoken to him by Mr. 
Henry Varley, the well known evangelist, as they sat to- 
gether on a seat in a public park in Dublin. The words 
were these : " The world has yet to see what God wiU do 
with and for and through and in and by the man who is 

346 D. L. MOODY 

fully consecrated to Him," " He said ' a man ' " thought 
Moody, '* he did not say, a great man, nor a learned man, 
nor a ' smart ' man, but simply ' a man.' I am a man, and 
it lies with the man himself whether he will or will not 
make that entire and full consecration. I will try my 
utmost to be that man." The words kept ringing in his 
mind, and burning their way into his soul until finally he 
was led into the deeper, richer, fuller experience for which 
his soul yearned. The impression the words made was 
deepened soon afterward by words spoken by Mr. Bewley, 
of Dublin, Ireland, to whom he was introduced by a friend. 
" Is this young man all O and O ? " asked Mr. Bewley. 
" What do you mean by ' O and O ' ? " said the friend. 
"Is he out and out for Christ?" was the reply. From 
that time forward Moody's desire to be " O and O " for 
Christ was supreme. 

Moody's hunger for a deeper spiritual experience was 
deepened by the preaching of Henry Moorehouse, the fam- 
ous English boy preacher, who visited Moody's church in 
Chicago soon after Mr. Moody returned to America. For 
seven nights Moorehouse preached from the text, John 
3:16, '' For God so loved the world, that he gave his only 
begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not 
perish, but have everlasting life." Every night he rose to 
a higher and higher plain of thought, beginning at Genesis 
and going through the Bible to Revelation, showing how 
much God loved the world. He pointed out how God 
loved the world so much that He sent patriarchs and 
prophets, and other holy men to plead with the people, 
and then He sent His only Son, and when they had killed 
Him, He sent the Holy Ghost. In closing the seventh ser- 
mon from the text, he said : " My friends, for a whole week 
I have been trying to tell you how much God loves you, 
but I cannot do it with this poor stammering tongue. If 

D. L. MOODY 347 

I <ould borrow Jacob's ladder and climb up into heaven 
and ask Gabriel, who stands in the presence of the Al- 
mighty, to tell me how much love the Father has for the 
world, all he could say would be, ' God so loved the world, 
that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever be- 
lieveth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life/ " 
Moody's heart was melted within him as he listened to the 
young preacher describing the love of God for lost man- 
kind. It gave him such a vision of the love of God as he 
had never seen before, and from that time forward Moody's 
preaching was of a more deeply spiritual character. 

Moody continued to hunger for a deepening of his own 
spiritual life and experience. He had been greatly used of 
God, but felt that there were much greater things in store 
for him. The year 1871 was a critical one with him. He 
realized more and more how little he was fitted by personal 
acquirements for his work, and how much he needed to be 
qualified for service by the Holy Spirit's power. This re- 
alization was deepened by conversations he had with two 
ladies who sat on the front pew in his church. He could 
see by the expression of their faces that they were praying. 
At the close of the service they would say to him, "We 
have been praying for you." " Why don't you pray for 
the people ? " Mr. Moody would ask. " Because you need 
the power of the Spirit," was the reply. " I need the 
power! Why," said he, in relating the incident after- 
wards, " I thought I had power. I had the largest con- 
gregation in Chicago, and there were many conversions. 
I was in a sense satisfied. But right along those two godly 
women kept praying for me, and their earnest talk about 
anointing for special service set me thinking. I asked them 
to come and talk with me, and they poured out their hearts 
in prayer that I might receive the filling of the Holy Spirit. 

348 D, L. MOODY 

There came a great hunger into my soul. I did not know 
what it was. I began to cry out as I never did before. I 
really felt that I did not want to live if I could not have 
this power for service." 

" While Mr. Moody was in this mental and spiritual 
condition," says his son, " Chicago was laid in ashes. The 
great fire swept out of existence both Farwell Hall and 
Illinois Street Church. On Sunday night after the meet- 
ing, as Mr. Moody went homeward, he saw the glare of 
flames, and knew it meant ruin to Chicago. About one 
o'clock Farwell Hall was burned; and soon his church 
went down. Everything was scattered." 

Mr. Moody went East to New York City to collect 
funds for the sufferers from the Chicago fire, but his heart 
and soul were crying out for the power from on high. 
" My heart was not in the work of begging," says he. 
" I could not appeal. I was crying all the time that God 
would fill me with His Spirit. Well, one day, in the city 
of New York — oh, what a day! — I cannot describe it, I 
seldom refer to it; it is almost too sacred an experience 
to name. Paul had an experience of which he never spoke 
for fourteen years. I can only say that God revealed Him- 
self to me, and I had such an experience of His love that 
I had to ask Him to stay His hand. I went to preaching 
iagain. The sermons were not different; I did not present 
any new truths ; and yet hundreds were converted. I would 
not now be placed back where I was before that blessed 
experience if you should give me all the world — ^it would 
be as the small dust of the balance." 

Moody's church was soon rebuilt in Chicago, thousands 
of Sunday School scholars contributing five cents each to 
place a brick in the new edifice. But the anointing of the 
Spirit which he received while walking along the streets of 

D. L. MOODY 349 

New York set his soul on fire in such a way that his work 
soon became a world-wide one. Desiring to learn more of 
the Scriptures from English Bible students, he visited Eng- 
land again in 1872. He did not expect to hold any meet- 
ings during this visit, but he accepted an invitation to preach 
at the Sunday morning and evening service at Arundel 
Square Congregational Church in the North part of Lon- 
don. In the evening the power of the Spirit seemed to 
fall upon the congregation, and the inquiry room was 
o'owHecl with persons seeking salvation. Next day he 
went to Dublin, Ireland, but an urgent telq^am called him 
back to continue his meetings at the North London Church. 
He continued there for ten days and four hundred persons 
were added to the church. He was invited to Dublin and 
Newcastle but decided not to go at that time, and he re- 
turned to America. 

Next year, at the invitation of two English friends, he 
started for England, accompanied by Mr. Sankey. His 
English friends had promised funds for the visit, but the 
money did not come and Mr. Moody borrowed enough to 
enable him to go to England. On arriving there he learned 
that both of his friends had died. No door seemed open 
for him. But before leaving America he had received a 
letter from the Secretary of the Y. M. C. A. at York, Eng- 
land, inviting him to address the young men there if he ever 
came to England. He and Mr. Sankey went to York, and 
began a series of meetings there which lasted for five weeks. 
Interest gradually increased until the meeting places were 
crowded half an hour before the time of service, and many 
souls decided for Christ. 

The evangelists went from York to Sunderland, where 
they had still greater meetings than in York. The largest 
halls in the city had to be secured for the services. Their 

3S0 D. L. MOODY 

next series of meetings was in Newcastler Here the meet- 
ings were gigantic, special trains bringing people from sur- 
rounding cities and towns. Here the evangelists published 
their first hymn-book, which soon became popular all over 
Britain. On their return to America, in 1875, they pub- 
lished a similar hymn-book entitled " Gospel Hynms, No. 
I," which was followed by Numbers 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. These 
books have been a means of blessing to multitudes through- 
out the world. They marked a new era in the history of 
the Qiristian church. The royalties on them were at first 
devoted to a number of benevolent purposes, but afterwards 
to the founding and carrying on of Mr. Moody's great Bible 
schools at Northfield. 

From the North of England the evangelists went to 
Scotland, and began a series of meetings in Edinburgh. 
Here they had one of the greatest series of meetings ever 
known in the world's history. No building was large enough 
to accommodate the immense throngs which flocked to their 
meetings. " Never, probably," says Professor Blaikie, 
*' was Scotland so stirred ; never was there so much expecta- 

In Glasgow, Scotland, the evangelists had similar meet- 
ings to those at Edinburgh. At the closing service at the 
Crystal Palace, in the Botanic Gardens, the building was 
packed so tightly with people Moody could not enter, and 
there were still twenty or thirty thousand persons on the 
outside. Moody spoke to the great throng from the seat 
of a cab, and the choir led the singing from the roof of 
a nearby shed. When the Crystal Palace was filled with 
inquirers seeking salvation, there were still about 2,000 
inquirers on the outside of the building. Moody probably 
addressed as many as thirty thousand persons at one 
time in Edinburgh and as many as forty thousand in 

D. L. MOODY 351 

OAer great meetings were held in Liverpool and many 
other British cities, and finally in London. When the evan- 
gelists left Britain, in 1875, after a campaign of two years 
and one week, the whole country had been stirred relig^ 
iously as it had not been stirred since the days of Wesley 
and Whitefield. About 14,000 children attended the chil- 
dren's meeting in Liverpool. Over 600 ministers attended 
the closing services in London. Moody said that he had 
such a consciousness of the presence of God in the Lon- 
don meetings that "the people seemed as grasshoppers/' 
Professor Henry Drtunmond said that Moody spoke to 
exactly "an acre of people" every meeting during his 
campaign in the East End of London. 

On their return to America, Moody and Sankey held 
great meetings in Brooklyn, Philadelphia, New York, Bos- 
ton, Chicago, and in many other cities of the United States. 
In 1881 they again visited Great Britain, and conducted an- 
other gigantic evangelistic campaign. After this Moody 
made repeated trips to Britain, and once he visited the 
Holy Land. He devoted much time to building up his 
great Bible schools at Northfield and in Chicago. Dur- 
ing the World's Fair in Chicago, in 1893, he conducted 
great meetings in the largest halls in the city and in Fore- 
paugh's Circus tent, with the assistance of famous preach- 
ers from all over the world. Millions heard the gospel 
preached during this campaign. 

Moody continued his evangelistic campaigns until his 
death in 1899. His last great series of meetings was in a 
gigantic hall in Kansas City. While there he was seized 
with heart trouble and hastened home to die. Among his 
last words were, " This is my triumph ; this is my corona- 
tion day! I have been looking forward to it for years.'* 
This old world had lost its charms for him and for a long 

352 D. L. MOODY 

time he had been " home-sick for heaven." His earthly re- 
mains were laid to rest on " Round Top/' at his beloved 
Northfield. By his special request there were no emblems 
of mourning at his funeral services. It is estimated that 
no less than a hundred million people heard the gospel from 
his lips, and his schools are training many others to carry 
the Glad Tidings throughout the world. 

Qbnkbal Booth 


One of the greatest religious leaders and reformers of 
all time was General William Booth, founder and head of the 
Salvation Army. The discipline of the Salvation Army is 
so rigorous, its standards so high, and its methods so stren- 
uous, it probably never will attract the great mass of pro- 
fessing Christians. But, like the Friends Church, the Sal- 
vation Army has had a tremendous influence in the deepen- 
ing of spiritual life, and in opening up new channels of 
Christian service and blessing. Israel was a small nation, 
but to that people God gave the adoption, the covenants, the 
oracles, and the law. He made Israel the ''husbandmen/' 
or teachers of the world. In like manner He has taught 
the world many great lessons through the Salvation Army. 

Perhaps all other denominations of Christians have been 
more one-sided than has the Salvation Army. The Roman 
Catholic Church placed too much stress on outward works, 
forms and ceremonies. The Protestant Churches probably 
went to the other extreme, and emphasized the act of faith 
to the n^lect of insisting on good works and holy living. 
But the Salvation Army has given the world a new and 
greater vision of how saving faith should lead to a life of 
oonsecration and service. No other denomination of Chris- 
tians seems to have realized so fully the duty of going out 
into the highways and byways to minister to the lost and 
suffering. The Army is 'The church of the 'black sheep/ "' 


The Salvation Army has given the world a new con- 
ception of Christianity, and has won the confidence of the 
masses. They have not spent their time in discussing 
creeds and theories, but have clothed the naked, fed the 
hungry, and visited the sick and in prison, and have thus 
won the people for Christ. On the great day of judgment 
the sheep are separated iroai the goats not by an examina- 
tion of their theories, but by an examination as to whether 
or not they have really loved their neighbors and ministered 
to the sick, suffering, and needy as did the divine Master 
when here on earth. The Salvation Army will probably 
measure up to this real test of love better than others who 
bear the name of Christ. Their creed is a brief one. It 
has been summed up in three words — Soap, Soup, and Sal- 
vation. They believe in soap to clean men outwardly and 
better their physical condition ; in soup to satisfy their hun- 
ger and prepare them to receive the message of Salvation; 
and in a full and free salvation for all mankind who meet 
the conditions. 

While ''less creed and more deed'' is the fundamental 
basis of the Salvation Army, they do not neglect the great 
essential doctrines of repentance, faith, znd the necessity of 
holy living. To them repentance is not mere sorrow for 
sin, but a real turning away from sin. Faith is not a mere 
intellectual act completed in a few seconds; but is a real 
reliance of the soul upon Christ, beginning instantly but 
continuing through time and eternity. In every Salvation 
Army corps throughout the world a Holiness Meeting is 
held every week to lead Christians into an experience of 
holiness, sanctification, or the filling of the Spirit. With 
them holiness is not "imputed" only, but is really imparted 
by the indwelling Spirit Without the real power of the 
Holy Spirit it would be difficult for them to hold open air 


meetings every night and two or three times on Sundays, 
summer and winter, rain or shine. Without the Spirit's 
power it would be difficult for every soldier to take part in 
both the outdoor and indoor meetings every day in the year, 
and yet every Salvation Army soldier is expected to be at 
his post and to take part in every meeting if possible. This 
is a strenuous life and requires spiritual strength. General 
Booth realized this fact, and made sanctification, or the fill- 
ing of the Spirit, a fundamental doctrine of the Salvation 
Army. Not only the Salvation Army, but most of the work- 
ers in mission halls and open-air meetings have learned the 
necessity of being filled with the Spirit in order to carry on 
an effectual work for Christ. 

Few persons have so emphasized and experienced the 
Holy Spirit's power as did General Booth and Mrs. Cath- 
erine Booth, the "Father" and "Mother" of the Salvation 
Army. Before her death Mrs. Booth was universally re- 
garded as one of the saintliest and most spiritual of women. 
Her influence both within and without the Salvation Army 
was tremendous. Thousands and tens of thousands have 
been won for Christ or led into a deeper spiritual experience 
through the influence of her life. It was no unusual sight to 
see scores and scores, and sometimes hundreds of persons 
seeking salvation or sanctification at the close of one of 
General Booth's addresses, so manifest was the power of the 
Spirit in his meetings. He probably visited more coun- 
tries and spoke more frequently, and won more souls for 
Christ, and rescued more fallen men and women than did 
any other person. Already the Salvation Army is at work 
in fifty-five different countries, and their shelters, rescue 
homes, farm colonies, and emigration bureaus, are doing 
more to reclaim the fallen than is any other agency, and 


we might perhaps truthfully say, that they are doing more 
to rescue the fallen than are all other agencies combined. 

William Booth, destined to become the founder of the 
Salvation Army and one of the greatest of social reformers, 
was born at Sneinton, a suburb of Nottingham, England, 
April 1O9 1829. His parents were members of the Estab- 
lished Church, and his mother was a very devout Christian. 
His father made considerable money, but had the misfor- 
tune to lose it. William was brought up in poverty and 
realized much of the sorrow and suffering which afterwards 
made his heart bleed for the poor. At an early age his 
father died, and William was left to struggle on in pov- 
erty with his widowed mother. He was thus deprived of 
the advantages of a good common school education. 

As a boy of thirteen William was a social reformer, and 
longed to do something to alleviate the sufferings of the 
poor. At an early age he deserted the Church of England 
and became a regular attendant at the Wesleyan Chapel. 
At the age of thirteen he yielded his heart and life to God. 
Describing this event, he says : " The Holy Spirit had con- 
tinually shown me that my real welfare for time and eter- 
nity depended upon the surrender of myself to the services 
of God. After a long controversy I made this submission, 
cast myself on His mercy, received the assurance of His 
pardon, and gave myself up to His service with all my 
heart. The hour, the place, and many other particulars of 
this glorious transaction are recorded indelibly on my mem- 

Soon after young Booth's conversion, James Caughey, 
the famous Spirit-filled American evangelist, visited Not- 
tingham. Caughey was a Methodist and preached the Wes- 
leyan theory of sanctification with great unction and power. 
His preaching made a deep impression on William Booth. 


and Idndled in his heart a great desire to win souls for 
Christ. But for a long time he was too timid to venture 
to hold religious meetings. Finally, after much time spent 
in prayer and the study of the Scriptures, he ventured to 
read the Bible and deliver some comments on the street 
corners of Nottingham. He was jeered at, ridiculed, and 
even bricks were thrown at him ; but this did not discourage 
him. Later he joined some Christian ccxnpanions in holding 
meetings in cottages and in the open air. William's early 
efforts to speak in public were often very discouraging, but 
they laid the foundation of his future usefulness. He was 
apprenticed to a firm where he had to work hard until 8 
o'dock in the evening, and then he hurried to the cottage 
meetings which lasted until lo o'clock, after which he was 
sometimes called to visit the sick or dying. 

Young Booth soon became the leader of his companions 
in these religious services, and then he began to conduct 
meetings in country places, stumbling home in the dark, late 
at night, after holding the meetings. At seventeen years 
of age he was made a local preacher. Two years later his 
Superintendent wanted him to become a regular minister, 
but the doctor advised him that his health was so poor that 
he was totally unfit for the strain of the life of a Metho- 
dist minister. 

In 1849, when twenty years of age, Mr. Booth removed 
to London. Here he was without a friend and almost with- 
out money. He found work as a clerk, and spent most of 
his leisure time working among the poor. Finally, he de- 
voted all his time to preaching, and preached in many parts 
of London with varying success. Sometimes he was severely 
criticised for his style of preaching, but frequently souls 
were brought to Christ in his meetings. He thought of of- 
fering himself for the regular ministry, bui his Superintend- 


cnt discouraged him. In 1851 a controversy arose in the 
Wesleyan Church over the question of lay representation, 
and a large number of ministers who favored lay represen- 
tation and other reform movements either seceded or were 
expelled from the conference, and formed a new movement 
and became known as Reformers. Because of his supposed 
sympathy with the Reformers — ^although he took no part 
in the controversy — Booth's name was dropped by the min- 
ister in charge of his circuit. The Reformers then offered 
him a position as pastor of one of their chapels in London. 
This he accepted, and here he met Catherine Mumford, the 
talented and consecrated young woman who several years 
afterward became his wife. 

For two or three years Booth preached in London and 
various other cities of England, and in many places met 
with great success. Many souls were won for Christ in 
his meetings. But his life was unsettled. The Reformers 
had no settled policy or organization, and they had many 
differences of opinion among themselves. Booth tried to 
induce them to unite with the Methodist New Connexion, 
which believed in lay representation and most of the re- 
forms they advocated. Finally he and a number of other 
Reformers joined the New Connexion. He now met with 
great success in many cities, and his fame as a revivalist 
began to spread all over England. Hundreds of persons 
now professed conversion to Christ in almost every series 
of meetings held by him. At last his financial prospects 
were such as to enable him to marry Catherine Mumford, 
who had advised and helped him in so many ways. Their 
courtship and marriage was an ideal one, and few persons 
have been so fully joined in heart and life. 

For four years, or until he was thirty-two years of age. 
Booth preached for the Methodist New Connexion in a 


number of leading cities, and many thousands of persons 
professed conversion to Christ. Nearly two thousand per- 
sons claimed conversion in his meetings in less than four 
months' time, and so they continued to flock to the altar for 
prayer everywhere he went. He repeatedly urged the Con- 
ference to allow him to leave the regular circuit work and 
devote all his time to evangelistic work, but this they re- 
fused to do. 

In 1861 he and Mrs. Booth decided to launch out into 
evangelistic work and trust the Lord for their support. 
Mr, Booth therefore sent in his resignation. 

It was shortly before launching out on an independent 
course that Mr. Booth was led into a deeper Christian ex- 
perience. Both he and Mrs. Booth were diligent students 
of the writings of John Wesley, and they accepted his views 
on sanctification, or holiness, as well as on other theological 
questions. General Booth has written much on the question 
of sanctification, heart purity, and so on, but has written 
little concerning his own experience of sanctification. In 
a letter written by Mrs. Catherine Booth, she briefly de- 
scribes how Mr. Booth and herself were led into the ex- 
perience of holiness. Writing to her parents, she says : "My 
soul has been* much called out of late on the doctrine of 
holiness. I feel that hitherto we have not put it in a suf- 
ficiently definite and tangible manner before the people — 
I mean as a specific and attainable experience. Oh, that I 
had entered into the fulness of the enjoyment of it myself. 
I intend to struggle after it. In the mean time we have 
commenced already to bring it specifically before our dear 
people." In another letter, speaking concerning the doc- 
trine of sanctification, she says : "William has preached on 
it twice, and there is a glorious quickening amongst the 
people. I am to speak again next Friday night and on Sun- 


day afteraoon. Pray for me. I only want perfect con- 
secration and Christ as my all, and then I might be very 
useful, to the s^ory, not of myself, the most miworthy of 
all who e'er His grace received, but of His great and bound- 
less love. May the Lord enable me to give my wanderings 
o'er and to find in Christ perfect peace and full salvation ! 

'' I have much to be thankful for in my dearest husband. 
The Lord has been dealing very graciously with him for 
some time past. His soul has been growing in grace, and 
its outward developments have been proportionate. He is 
now on full stretch for holiness. You would be amazed 
at the change in him. It would take me all night to detail 
all the circumstances and convergings of Providence and 
Grace which have led up to this experience, but I assure 
you it is a glorious reality, and I know you will rejoice in 

Describing how she herself earnestly sought for and 
obtained the experience of holiness, she says: ''I strug- 
gled through the day until a little after six in the evaiing, 
when William joined me in prayer. We had a blessed sea- 
son. While he was saying, ' Lord, we open our hearts to 
receive Thee,* that word was spoken to my soul : ' Behold, 
I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice, 
and open unto me, I will come in and sup with him.' I 
felt sure He had long been knocking, and oh, how I yearned 
to receive Him as a perfect Saviour ! But oh, the inveterate 
habit of unbelief! How wonderful diat God should have 
borne so long with me. 

" When we got up from our knees I lay on the sofa, ex- 
hausted with the effort and excitement of the day. William 
said, ' Don't you lay all on the altar ? ' I replied, * I am 
sure I do I ' Then he said, 'And isn't the altar holy ? ' I 
replied in the language of the Holy Ghost, ' The altar is 


most holy, and whatsoever toucheth it is holy/ Then said 
he, * Are you not holy ? ' I replied with my heart full of 
emotion and with some faith, 'Oh, I think I am/ Im- 
mediately the word was given me to confirm my faith, 
* Now are ye clean through the word I have spoken unto 
you/ And I took hold — ^true, with a trembling hand, and 
not unmolested by the tempter, but I held fast the beginning 
of my confidence, and it grew stronger, and from that mo- 
ment I have dared to reckon myself dead indeed unto sin, 
but alive unto God through Jesus Christ, my Lord/' 

It is evident from the above account of their deeper 
Christian experience that both Mr. and Mrs. Booth were 
led into this experience by means of the teaching that when 
our all is placed on the altar of consecration, the altar 
sanctifies the gift. They now became burning, shining lights 
for the Master. 

After their decision to engage in evangelistic work they 
waited for some time before receiving a call, and their faith 
was sorely tried. They then received a call to Cornwall, 
where a great revival broke out under their labors. Here 
Mr. Booth introduced the '' penitent form, " or altar, in his 
meetings, which has always been a regular feature of Sal- 
vation Army warfare. Perhaps no Salvation Army meet- 
ing is held in which there is not a chancel-rail, bench, chair, 
drum-head, or some kind of "penitent form" where inquir- 
ers can kneel for prayer. In the Cornish meetings the 
people were so wrought upon that they exclaimed, " Glory !" 
" Hallelujah ! '* and so on, and such ejaculations have al- 
ways been conunon in Salvation Army meetings. The 
crowds in Cornwall were too great to be accommodated in 
any building, and great open-air meetings were held. Open- 
air work has always been a leading feature of Salvation 
Army warfare. 


After their Cornish campaign Mr. and Mrs. Booth held 
many other great evangelistic campaigns in which multi- 
tudes were won for Christ. In 1865 they began their work 
in East London which developed into the Salvation Army. 
A large tent was erected in a disused burying-ground be- 
longing to the Friends, and meetings were held in it every 
night for two weeks. Open-air meetings were held on Mile 
End Waste, and the workers marched in procession from 
the open-air meetings to the tent where another service was 
hdd. The tent blew down and an old dancing hall was en- 
gaged for the meetings. From this small beginning a reg- 
ular chain of missions was gradually formed, and this work 
was known as "The Christian Mission." In 1877 Mr. 
Booth changed the name to ''The Salvation Army/' and 
the work was gradually organized on the plan of a well- 
disciplined army, with uniform, officers, and regulations re- 
sembling those of a regular army. Mrs. Booth designed 
the " hallelujah bonnet " so well known today. 

In the early days of the Salvation Army, when it was 
known as ** The Christian Mission," the power of God was 
wonderfully manifest in the meetings. According to Com- 
missioner Booth-Tucker, one of the ablest officers of the 
Salvation Army, persons were frequently stricken down in 
the meetings, overwhelmed with a sense of the presence and 
power of God. After the Salvation Army name, uniform, 
and discipline was adopted the work grew by leaps and 
bounds, and in little more than a quarter of a century its 
flag was unfurled in no less than fifty-five different coun- 
tries, embracing almost every comer of the earth, and hun- 
dreds of thousands of souls had professed conversion to 
Christ in the meetings. 

In 1890 General Booth published his great book, ''In 
darkest England," which produced a sensaticm throughout 


the world. It was the most far-reaching and practical 
scheme ever proposed for the uplift of fallen humanity, or 
the "down and-out" portion of mankind, or "the submerged 
tenth'' as General Booth calls them. He proposed three 
things — ^the erection of shelters and industrial homes in the 
cities, the establishing of farm colonies in the country, and 
the emigration of the poor to more promising parts of the 
world. The industrial homes and shelters would give im- 
mediate relief to the destitute, the farm colonies would pro- 
vide temporary employment, and emigration would provide 
a permanent home. In this way the pe(^le would be sent 
"back to the land" and the congestion in the cities would 
be relieved. Already these schemes have been carried out 
on a gigantic scale. Salvation Army shelters are found in 
most great cities of the worid and have saved multitudes 
from despair. Successful farm colonies have been estab- 
lished in several different countries, and tens of thousands 
of persons have been assisted to emigrate to Canada, Aus- 
tralia, and South Africa. 

General Booth believed in, "Going to the people with 
the message of salvation ;" and this led to the many forms 
of open-air, factory, slum, and other work of the Salva- 
tion Army. He believed in, "Attracting the people," and 
this has led to the use of the many musical instruments, 
lively tunes, and striking notices employed by the Army. 
He believed in, "Saving the people," and this has led to 
the teaching of a victorious, conquering, sanctifying, cleans- 
ing religion that will really save the people from their sins. 
He also believes in, "Employing the people," and this has 
led to the many meetings, the testifying, singing, and pray- 
ing on the part of every soldier ; and it has led to the dif- 
ferent officers and also to all the varied social work of the 
Salvation Army. 

How It 5aves. 

L This Ml Ml • Tt • tioa faU wAt» mt. Oh, bow it atfttt 

2. 1 ieil Hi pow'r all thro'mj fool^ Oh. how it atml 

3. in lofo it M nj dj • tag M, Oh, how It atfwl 

4. Ill left it frhM I'm Mfo ta hetfiii. Oh. how It atfwl 
6..I1I lofo it thro^ • • tir - ■! - ty, Oh« how It atnpl 

iT i f fr u^' ,' r' If rrf I 

It itCi iftjtMd tt Ub^or • tj. Oh, how it atfwl 

Iti dMM • tag wifM BOW o'or BO roll. Oh, how It aoful 

Whao Jor • dan's wafct roll o'or wof haad. Oh, how It atfoil 

With an thi ran-aonadaDd. f^-gi?iB, Oh, how it attoil 

And ioj ta ood-liM lih - ar - ty, Oh^ how it atfiil 

It' f f f ' I 


From **QTCi.t E«wWil Hymia.** 



Those who are acquainted with the well known booklet 
" The Imitation of Christ " have doubtless been impressed 
with the thought that the author of so deeply spiritual a 
book must have had such trials of faith, such self-cruci- 
fixion, and such fellowship with God as is only known to 
those who " dwell in the secret place of the Most Higfa.** 
Such was true of Thomas a Kempis, whose little book has 
been published in every civilized tongue, and has been a 
means of blessing for centuries. 

A Kempis was bom at Cologne, in 1380, and was very 
pious from his early youth. He was brought up in a re- 
ligious school and at nineteen years of age became a monk 
of the Augustinian order. He filled many of the highest 
offices in this order before his death, which occurred when 
he was ninetyrtwo years of age. His conversion to Christ 
took place during his novitiate, after he was deeply con- 
victed of sin and after he had suffered many inward 
struggles. After this he had many fierce conflicts of soul 
as is very apparent from his writings. "O, how great," 
he exclaims, ''has been the mercy of God towards me! 
How often, when I was almost overcome, has He been 
my deliverer! Sometimes my passions assailed me as a 
whirlwind; but God sent forth His arrows and dissipated 
them. The attack was often renewed, but God was stil) 
my support By degrees I was weaned from everything 



earthly, and adhered to God alone. Then, I experienced 
how sweet, how full of mercy God is to those who truly 
love Him. O my God! how merciful hast Thou been to 
me I Many have been forsaken by Thee, and are lost, who 
were less guilty than I am. But Thy mercies are unspeak- 
able. * Let the worthless one (sayest Thou) draw near ta 
Me, that he may be made worthy ; the wicked one, that he 
may be converted ; the imperfect one, that he may be made 
perfect ; let all draw near to Me, and taste the living waters 
of salvation. It is my delight to be with the children of 

men/ " 


William Penn, the famous Quaker who founded Penn- 
sylvania, who wrote " No Cross, No Crown," and who won 
many souls for Christ, was qualified by birth, talents, and 
education to be one of the leading noblemen of Great 
Britain. Like Moses, he renounced all worldly honors 
to suffer bitter persecution with the children of God. 
He even suffered imprisonment with the then despised 

William Penn was under deep religious impressions as 
a child, and was converted to Christ at twelve years of 
age. He made a full consecration of everything to God 
in 1666, when twenty-two years of age, after hearing the 
Quaker preacher Thomas Lee preach about ''The Faith 
that Overcomes the World." In his book "The Guide 
Mistaken," written in defence of the Quakers, or Friends, 
he thus describes the teaching of the Friends r^[arding the 
doctrine of Christian Perfection : 

" Perfection from sin they hold to be attainable, because 
he that is bom of God sins not, and that nothing which is 
unclean can enter the kingdom of God; no crown without 
victory ; the little leaven leavens the whole lump ; the strong 


man must be cast out. Paul prays they might be sanctified 
wholly; be ye perfect as God is perfect; be perfect, be of 
good comfort; unto a perfect man; as many as be per- 
fect; that the man of God may be perfect; the God of 
peace make you perfect in every good work; the God of 
all grace make you perfect; let us cleanse ourselves from 
all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in 
the fear of God ; etc. 

'^And as my faithful testimony both to their life and 
doctrine, I declare, and be it known to all that ever knew 
me, that when the unspeakable riches of God's love visited 
me, by the call of His glorious light, from the dark prac- 
tices, wandering notions, and vain conversation of this pol- 
luted world, and that my heart was influenced thereby, and 
consequently disposed for the more intimate and sincere 
reception of it; those very habits which I once judged im« 
possible, whilst here, to have relinquished, and did allow 
myself a liberty therein, because not openly gross or scan- 
dalous, became not only burdensome, and by that light were 
manifested to be of another nature than that which I was 
called to the participation of ; but in my faithful adherence 
to its holy counsel and instructions, I was immediately en- 
dued with a power that gave dominion over them." 


Dr. Adam Garke, the great commentator and preacher, 
was one of the most famous of the early Methodist min- 
isters, and he is ranked as one of the greatest of Bible 
scholars. He insisted on preachers urging people to seek 
an experience of entire sanctification, and he preached fre- 
quently on the same theme with great unction and poweCi 
His powerful treatise on ''Purity of Heart'' was written 



to show Christians their privilege of being *^ fiUed with all 
the fulness of God." 

Dr. Qarke is known everywhere as a writer of great 
learning, but it is not so generally known that he preached 
to immense audiences and was one of the most successful 
preachers in the itinerancy of the early Methodist Qiurch. 
That he enjoyed a very deep Christian experience himself 
is very evident from all his writings. In " Purity of Heart" 
he says : ** As there is no end to the merits of Christ incar- 
nated and crucified; no bounds to the mercy and love of 
God ; no let or hindrance to the almighty energy and sanc- 
tifying influence of the Holy Spirit; no limits to the im- 
provability of the human soul ; so, there can be no bounds 
to the saving influence which God will dispense to the heart 
of every genuine believer. We may ask and receive, and 
our joy shall be full ! Well may we bless and praise God, 
^ who has called us into such a state of salvation ; ' a state 
in which we may be thus saved ; and, by the grace of that 
state, continue in the same to the end of our lives. 

*^ As sin is the cause of the ruin of mankind, the Gospel- 
system which exhibits its cure is fitly called 'good news,' 
or 'glad tidings;' and it is good news, because it pro- 
claims Him who saves His people from their sins; and 
it would indeed be dishonorable to that grace, and the in- 
finite merit of Him who procured it, to suppose, much more 
to assert, that sin had made wounds which grace would not 
heal. Of such a triumph Satan shall ever be deprived." 


Inseparably connected with the greatest names of early 
Methodism are the names of Bramwdl and Carvosso. 

Rev. William Bramwdl, who lived at the same time as 
Wesley, sang as a choir-boy in the Church of England dur- 


ixig his earlier years. After suffering under conviction of 
sin for many months, he was brightly converted to Christ 
and became an earnest worker for the salvation of souls. 
Later he became a class-leader, and finally a minister in the 
Methodist Church. He was full of zeal, and many souls 
were led to Christ. Yet he yearned for a still deeper Chris- 
tian experience. 

'' I was for some time deeply convinced of my need of 
purity," says he, " and sought carefully with tears, entreat- 
ies, and sacrifice; thinking nothing too much to give up» 
nothing too much to do or suffer, if I might but attain this 
pearl of great price. Yet I found it not ; nor knew the rea- 
son why till the Lord showed me I had erred in the way 
of seeldng it. I did not seek it by faith alone, but as it 
were, by the works of the law. Being now convinced of 
my error, I sought the blessing by faith only. Still it tar- 
ried a little, but I waited for it in the way of faith. When 
in the house of a friend at Liverpool, whither I had gone 
to settle some temporal affairs, previously to my going out 
to travel, while I was sitting, as it might be, on this chair 
(pointing to his chair), with my mind engaged in various 
meditations concerning my present affairs and future pros- 
pects, my heart now and then lifted up to God, but not par- 
ticularly about this blessing, heaven came down to eardi; 
it came to my soul. The Lord, for whom I had waited, 
came suddenly to the temple of my heart ; and I had an im- 
mediate evidence that this was the blessing I had for some 
time been seddng. My soul was then all wonder, love and 

After receiving the above experience, great power was 
given him. Thousands were converted to Christ in his 
meetings. Many sick were healed in answer to his prayers, 
and remarkable discernment was given him to see and know 
the spiritual condition of others. 



One of the most striking examples of what God can do 
for a man without natural talents, without education, and 
without worldly advantages of any kind, is found in the 
"Memoirs of William Carvosso." 

Truly converted from a life of sin at twenty-one years 
of age, Carvosso soon afterward sought for and obtained 
a still deeper Christian experience, after which he became 
a great means of blessing to thousands of persons with 
whom he prayed and conversed personally. He was one 
of the greatest soul-winners of the early Methodist Church. 
He served as class-leader in the Methodist Church in Eng- 
land for over sixty years. He learned to write after he 
was sixty-five years of age. 

Of his deeper experience, Carvosso says: "What I 
now wanted was * inward holiness' ; and for this I prayed 
and searched the Scriptures. Among the number of prom- 
ises, which I found in the Bible, that gave me to see it 
was my privilege to be saved from all sin, my mind was 
particularly directed to Ezekid 36:25-27. . , . This 
is the great and precious promise of the eternal Jehovah, 
and I laid hold of it, determined not to stop short of my 
privilege; for I saw clearly the will of God was my sanc- 
tification. ... At length, one evening, while engaged 
in prayer-meeting, the great deliverance came. I b^;an to 
exercise faith, by believing, * I shall have the blessing now.' 
Just at that moment a heavenly influence filled the room; 
and no sooner had I uttered or spoken the words from 
my heart, 'I shall have the blessing now,' than refining 
fire went 'through my heart, — ^illuminated my soul, — scat- 
tered its life through every part, and sanctified the whole.' 
I then received the full witness of the Spirit that the blood 
of Jesus Christ had cleansed me from all sin. I cried out| 


' This is what I wanted ! I have now got a new heart.' 
• . • O what boundless, boundless happiness there is in 
Christ, and all for such a poor sinner as I am I This happy 
change took place in my soul March 13, 1772." 


David Brainerd, the consecrated missionary, endured 
almost incredible hardships while laboring among the Amer- 
ican Indians; but he lived so dose to God that his life 
has been an inspiration to many. His biography was writ- 
ten by Jonathan Edwards, was revised by John Wesley, 
and influenced the life of Dr. A. J. Gordon more than any 
other book outside the Bible. 

Such intense longings and prayers after holiness as we 
read of in the journals of Brainerd are scarcely recorded 
anywhere else. " I long for God, and a conformity to His 
will, in inward holiness, ten thousand times more than for 
anything here below," says he. On Oct. 19, 1740, he 
wrote: "In the morning, I felt my soul hungering and 
thirsting after righteousness. In the forenoon, while I 
was looking on the sacramental elements, and thinking that 
Jesus Christ would soon be * Set forth crucified before me,' 
my soul was filled with light and love, so that I was almost 
in an ecstacy ; my body was so weak I could hardly stand. 
I felt at the same time an exceeding tenderness, and most 
fervent love towards all mankind ; so that my soul, and all 
the powers of it seemed, as it were, to melt into softness 
and sweetness. This love and joy cast out fear, and my 
soul longed for perfect grace and glory." 

Many were the manifestations of the Spirit in his meet- 
ings and during his numerous seasons of fasting and prayer 
and longings for holiness of life. He seems to have risen 
above the things of this world to a remarkable degree. In 


his journal of March lo, 1743, he says : ** I fdt exceed- 
ing dead to the world and all its enjoyments : I was ready 
to give up life, and all its comforts, as soon as called to 
it; and yet then had as much comfort of life as almost 
ever I had. Life itself appeared but an empty bubble ; the 
riches, honors, and enjoyments of it extremely tasteless. 
I longed to be entirely crucified to all things here below. 
My soul was sweetly resigned to God's disposal of me; 
and I saw there had nothing happened to me but what was 
best for me. ... It was my meat and drink to be holy, 
to live to the Lord, and die to the Lord. And I then en- 
joyed such a heaven, as far exceeded the most sublime con- 
ceptions of an unregenerate soul; and even unspeakably 
beyond what I myself could conceive at another time." 


Edward Payson was the most illustrious of the great 
Congregational preachers of Nev/ England. "His pulpit 
utterances," say McClintock and Strong, " were of the most 
startling and uncompromising character. It may be truly 
said of Edward Payson that he labored not to please men, 
but God; and his pulpit thundered and lightened like an- 
other Sinai against every form of ungodliness and iniquity." 
Over seven Jiimdred persons were received into the church 
at Portland, Maine, under the pastorship of Payson. 

Payson was bom in 1783, was precocious as a child, 
and at three years of age he wept under the preaching of 
a sermon. He was a good reader when four years old. 
In 1803 he graduated from Harvard College. He was di^- 
nitely converted to Christ in 1804. After completing a 
theological course, he was ordained in 1807. 

On September 19, 1827, Payson wrote from his sick- 
bed, in a letter to his sister: 


**Were I to adopt the figurative language of Bunyan, 
I might date this letter from the land of Beulah, of which 
I have been for some weeks the happy inhabitant The 
celestial dty is full in my view. Its glories beam upon me, 
its odors are wafted to me, its sounds strike upon my ears, 
and its spirit is breathed into my heart Nothing separates 
me from it but the river of death, which now appears as 
but an insignificant rill, that may be crossed at a single 
step whenever God shall give permission. The Sun of 
Righteousness has gradually been drawing nearer, appear- 
ing larger and brighter as He approached, and now He fills 
the whole hemisphere, pouring forth a flood of glory, in 
which I seem to float like an insect in the beams of the 
sun; exulting, yet almost trembling, while I gaze on this 
excessive brightness, and wondering, with unutterable won- 
der, why God should deign thus to shine upon a sinful 
worm. A single heart and a single tongue seem altogether 
inadequate to my wants. I want a whole heart for every 
separate emotion, and a whole tongue to express that emo- 

Not long before he expired, he said : '' My soul is filled 
with joy unspeakable. I seem to swim in a flood of glory, 
which God pours down upon me.'* 


Marvelous arci the answers to prayer recorded in the 
book entitled, " Dorothea Trudd, or The Prayer of Faith." 
Dorothea's mother was a woman of great faith, and be- 
lieved that God provided for her large family and kept 
them in good health in answer to the prayer of faith. Dor- 
othea had such faith that hundreds were healed in answer 
to her prayers, and her name became known all over the 
world. Travelers in Switzerland often heard about tiie 


marvelous cures wrought in the remote village of Mamien- 
dorf in answer to Dorothea Trudd's prayers. 

Dorothea Trudd was bom in 1813 and died in 1862. 
She was converted to Christ at twenty-two years of age, 
after being so deeply convicted of sin that many thought 
she was dying. Some years after this she was led into a 
still deeper Christian experience, which she describes as 
follows : 

" I persevered in working at my trade for a year, dur- 
which time the Lord continued to show me much that 
tended to my self-abasement. I learned that bodily suffer- 
ing cannot produce conformity to God, even when it is 
borne with patience ; that the only way in which that grace 
can be attained is by the outpouring of the love of God in 
the heart. I did not know before what was meant by be- 
ing 'nothing,' and yet I had considered myself converted. 
But now the Lord opened my eyes, and showed me that 
the annoyance I felt to this hour, when tried by any diffi- 
culty, arose from the presence of * the old man/ and that 
if I possessed the love described in i Cor. 13, which *is 
not easily provoked,' and * seeketh not her own,' I should 
no longer be provoked to such irritation: from that time 
the Lord has so strengthened me night and day that the 
wonders which have taken place in accordance with God's 
Word will be less marveled at than that I am still spared 
and strengthened to labor." 


Almost identical with the great mirades of healing 
wrought through the prayers and faith of Dorothea Trudel 
in Switzerland, were those wrought in answer to the prayers 
of the German pastor John Christolph Bltunhardt, who was 
bom in 1805 and died in i88o. Hundreds of invalids flocked 


to him at Mottlingen, and then at Bad Boll, and after be- 
ing prayed for they left with complete healing. 

Pastor Blumhardt commenced preaching at Mottlingen 
in 1828, soon after graduating from the gpreat University 
of Tubingen. A remarkable case of deliverance of a wom- 
an, who seemed to be possessed with demons, took place 
in answer to his prayers. The whole village was stirred and 
a great revival followed, and his home was besieged all day 
by inquirers after the way of salvation. "Notwithstand- 
ing all this," says he, " the feeling that this work of God 
would according to the usual course of things, in the long 
run, lose its vigor and freshness, made me more and more 
familiar with the thought that the church of Qirist at large 
wants a new outpouring of the spirit of Pentecost, and that 
without this, nothing would be durable. This led me to 
pray for a new outpouring of the Spirit, and that without 
ceasing, the more so as the signs seemed to indicate that 
we are not far from the last times. The clearer I begin 
to see the corruption and manifold defects of present Chris- 
tendom, the more unavoidable is to me supplication for its 
renewal, which can only be accomplished through a special 
movement of the Spirit of Gk>d from above." 

His special pleading for the Holy Spirit was answered 
with an enduement with power from on high. After this 
he had so much power in preaching the gospel and in pray- 
ing for the sick that his work grew to such an ex- 
tent that he was compelled to procure the large gov- 
ernment building at Boll, so that he could accommodate the 
sick who flocked from all over Europe, and even from 
America, that he might pray for their healing. The gov- 
ernment sold the building to him at less than cost, and the 
King made a special donation to help him start his work 



Inseparably connected with the doctrine of entire con- 
secration and sanctification are the names of Dr. and Mrs. 
Phoebe Pahner. After obtaining a deeper Christian expe- 
rience themselves^ the lives of these two consecratd evan- 
gdists were devoted to leading others into the same expe- 
rience. The influence of their teachings can be traced in 
the lives of many noted Christians of both America and 
Britain. Mrs. Palmer is well known for her teaching of 
'' Put all upon the altar, and the altar sanctifies the gift/' 
This figure was drawn from the fact that in Old Testa- 
ment times the fire was always bummg on the altar, and 
the sacrifice was consumed as soon as placed on the altar. 
So, Mrs. Palmer taught, the fire of the Holy Spirit is al- 
ways burning on the altar of true consecration, ready to 
consume every one who truly offers himself a living sac- 
rifice to God. 

For a long time after her conversion, Mrs. Palmer had 
a great desire to be sanctified, but she felt as though the 
blessing was too great for her to ever think of attaining 
to it. A close study of God's Word convinced her that He 
had commanded and expected all Christians to be holy, 
sanctified, *' vessels unto honor, sanctified and meet for the 
Master's use." " This is the will of God, even your sanc- 
tification," "For God hath not called you unto unclean-^ 
ness, but unto holiness," "Be ye holy, for I am holy," 
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which 
no man shall see the Lord," and many similar passages of 
Scripture convinced her of her need of holiness. Then she 
began to expect God to convict her deeply for the experi- 
ence. At last her eyes were opened to see that " knowl- 
edge is conviction/' and that the only conviction necessary 
was to be convinced of her need. She then began to seek 


(earnestly for the experience. At first she felt that great 
agony and struggle of soul must be necessary to obtain the 
experience. But finally she was convinced that it was to 
be obtained by faith, as it was not necessary to struggle 
and agonize to obtain an experience which God commands 
and expects all Christians to have. She then trusted God for 
the experience, and could say with the writer of the hymn, 

"When I gave all trying over. 
Simply trusting, I was blessed." 

In her widely circulated book, "The Way of Holiness," 
she relates her own experience, speaking in the third per- 
son, as follows: 

" Over and over again, previous to the time mentioned, 
had she endeavored to give herself away in covenant to 
God. But she had never, till this hour, deliberately re- 
solved on counting the cost, with the solemn intention to 
* reckon herself dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God 
through Jesus Christ our Lord " (Rom. 6: ii) ; to account 
herself permanently the Lord's, and in truth no more at 
her own disposal ; but irrevocably the Lord's property, for 
time and eternity. Now, in the name of the Lord Jehovah, 
after having deliberately 'counted the cost,' she resolved 
to enter into the bonds of an everlasting covenant, with the 
fixed pui*pose to count all things but loss for the excellency 
of the knowledge of Jesus, that she might know Him and 
the power of His resurrection, by being made conformable 
to His death, and raised to an entire newness of life. . • • 
On doing this, a hallowed sense of consecration took pos- 
session of her soul/' etc. 

p. p. BUSS. 

One of the most consecrated Christians as well as one 
of the greatest of gospel singers and hymn-writers was 


Philip Paul Bliss. He was taken away early in life, but 
before his departure wrote some of our best hymns, among 
them being, " Let the Lower Lights Be Burning," " Hold 
the Fort," "Windows Open Toward Jerusalem," "Free 
from the Law," " Only an Armour-Bearer," " Pull for the 
Shore, Sailors," " The Light of the World is Jesus," " Who- 
soever Will," "Almost Persuaded," " I Am So Glad that 
Jesus Loves Me," "Hallelujah, 'Tis Done," "The Half 
Was Never Told," and many others. 

P. P. Bliss was bom in Pennsylvania in 1838, and was 
a poor country boy, but very fond of music. He was re- 
ligiously inclined from his earliest youth, and made a pub- 
lic confession of Christ at a Baptist revival in 1850. After 
his marriage, and a short service in the Civil War, and a 
number of years spent in holding secular concerts, he be- 
came acquainted with Mr. Moody. Several years after this 
he was led to consecrate his entire life and services to God 
for the purpose of spreading the gospel in song. 

In the memoirs of Bliss, by Major D. W. Whittle, we 
learn the story of how he was led to make the full conse- 
cration of his services. During the winters of 1873-4 Mr. 
Bliss received many letters from Mr. Moody, who was then 
in Scotland, urging him to give up his business, drop every- 
thing, and sing the gospel. Similar letters came to Major 
Whittle, urging him to go out with Bliss and hold meet- 
ings. Mr. and Mrs. Bliss were ready for this if they could 
see it as the Lord's will. But there was much prayer and 
hesitation on the part of Mr. Bliss before he reached a de- 
cision in the matter. He doubted his ability, and doubted 
whether the inclination he fell to go was from the Lord. 
But Mr. Moody continued to write, and Mr. H. G. Spaf- 
ford, a mutual friend, also joined in urging Major Whittle 
and Mr. Bliss to go into the evangelistic work. Finally a 
door opened for them. Rev. C. M. Saunders, of Waukegan, 


Illinois^ invited them to his church for three or four eve- 
nings as an experiment. Major Cole accompanied them on 
this trip. The first meeting was not an encouraging one in 
point of attendance, and there were no marked results ex- 
cept a powerful impression on the minds of the evangelists 
that the Lord was with them. The next day it rained and 
they looked for a small attendance, but the congregation 
was twice as large as the first, and a niunber of souls were 
led to Christ. 

" Our hearts were very full," says Major Whittle, " and 
a great responsibility was upon us. The next afternoon 
we all three met in the study of the Congregational Church, 
where our meetings were held, and spent some hours in 
prayer. Bliss made a formal surrender of ever3rthing to 
the Lord; gave up his musical conventions; gave up his 
writing of secular music; gave up everything, and in a 
simple, childlike, trusting prayer, placed himself, with any 
talent, any power Gk>d had given him, at the disposal of 
the Lord, for any use He could make of him in the spread- 
ing of His gospel. Dear Cole united with us in this con- 
secration. It was a wonderful afternoon. As I think back 
upon the scene in that little study, and recall Bliss' prayer, 
and the emotions that filled us all in the sense of God's 
presence, the room seems lit up in my memory with a halo 
of glory." 

AiiM and SMna; 


L «hild of God» • - wtka, • - iiM« And Imt Vwwd if t tky loi«-ing 
8. No mora iksll dttk-MH faidotky poth;!!^ fo« bo mora tktU wX tfara 

3, Thy heoft do mora tktJL fear or dnod; The ol of gbd-nem crowu tl^ 

4. IB toon tky God ibOlfrbo ••vij, AadmokK^ iio ooo doud-km 

I i'm'i' Tffjrr^i I 

ifm; Thy toofi of fnim to God bow niw» For tho glo - ij of tho 

lngh;T^ dark-art Big^t h tomad to ight, ABdtho glo-ij of tho 

haad;Paaoa,pow*r,aBdkyoeDmofrom a • hora, ABd tho glo«ij of tho 

day; Thra' aad • len dayi thaa dug 004*0 phdm, For tho glo • ij of tho 

Lard k ib'B «p-OB thoo. A-iiaa aad diaa, for thy 

hTff T i r f l [lf f f fif l r;f I' l 

A-iiM aad ihiaa, for tha aight k goBa; A-iim aad diaa, for tht, 

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